Volume 87 Issue 24 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 15, 2009

Glucose Derivative Takes Down Termites

Gluconolactone increases termites' susceptibility to infection by a fungal pathogen, suggesting it could serve as a nontoxic pest control agent
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: termites, pest control, glucose derivatives

Something as simple as a modified sugar could help knock out termites and lead to a general nontoxic form of pest control, according to a new report (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904063106). Gram-negative bacteria binding proteins (GNBPs) are receptors in insect immune systems that alert the creatures to the presence of pathogens. Although GNBPs share features with bacterial β-glucanases, which are enzymes that digest glucans, biologists thought that the insect proteins . . .

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