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Scientists Shut Down Reproductive Ability in Pests

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Scientists are studying how a neuropeptide named natalisin regulates the sexual activity and reproductive ability of insects. Their findings may open new possibilities for environmentally friendly pest management.

| August 27, 2013

A neuropeptide named natalisin regulates the sexual activity and reproductive ability of insects, according to a new study in which the neuropeptide is observed and named Natalisin is composed of short chains of amino acids in the brain of insects and arthropods and the finding may open new possibilities for environmentally friendly pest management.

The study looked at natalisin in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori and Tribolium castaneum - fruit flies, red flour beetles and silk moths - to understand the patterns of natalisin expression and to assess the phenotype of natalisin RNAi. These insects have four life stages of development - egg, larva, pupa and adult - allowing scientists to observe the insects throughout the entirety of their life cycle to find what natalisin controls.

Natalisin is part of insects' and arthropods' peptidergic system -- a genetic network that uses small peptides as neurotransmitters to chemically relay messages throughout the body.

The researchers saw that in all three insects, natalisin was expressed in three to four pairs of neurons in the brain.

Read the entire article.

Source: http://www.science20.com

 

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