MU researchers find method of pest resistance for corn crops

1 year 6 months 1 week ago Tuesday, December 13 2016 Dec 13, 2016 Tuesday, December 13, 2016 2:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2016 in News
By: Shannon Shaver, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found the reason some corn plants are tolerant of a major pest in the United States.

The western corn rootworm is a pest that has disrupted corn fields in the U.S. for longer than a century.

"The western corn rootworm is the most important insect pest in the United States, it effects the yield of corn especially when under drought conditions," said Bruce Hibbard, a research entomologist with the USDA Agriculture Research Service. 

The rootworms hatch in the soil and then start to chew on the roots of corn plants.

Argiculture companies have tried a variety of methods to rid corn crops of the rootworms, but the insects have built up a resistance against these methods. 

MU Research Professor Richard Ferrieri said his team has now figured out how corn can survive an attack from the pest.

"We now understand the basic mechanisms for corn plants to tolerate an attack by the western corn rootworm and develop new roots," he said.

In 2011, Ferrieri's partners with the USDA at the University of Missouri found some corn plants that could tolerate an attack from the rootworms. 

Using nuclear technology, Ferrieri and his team looked at the plants and found that they were producing more auxin, a powerful plant hormone. 

The hormone helps stimulate new root growth in plants, which made up for the roots being damaged by the western corn rootworm. 

To see where the auxin was being made and where it was moving, researchers used positron emission tomography, often used in hospitals for cancer diagnostic studies in humans. 

"I've taken that same technology and moved it into the laboratory setting, and have applied it to studying plants," Ferrieri said. 

Now, Ferrieri said it is time to move forward with breeding programs. 

"This work has revealed several new insights about root regrowth in crops that can fend off a rootworm attack,” Ferrieri said in a news release. “Our observations suggest that improving glutamine utilization could be a good place to start for crop breeding programs or for engineering rootworm-resistant corn for a growing global population.”

Hibbard said the western corn rootworm is not a big problem for Missouri farms where there's more continuous soybeans or where corn is rotated with soybeans every year.

However, he warns farmers of the northern corn rootworm that he said appears to be adapting to crop rotations.

"This is something that farmers will need to be looking for even in rotated corn next year," he said.

 

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has cracked a rib of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill while performing the Heimlich... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 10:00:30 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City is kicking off its annual “Food 4 Kids” program Monday.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A 15-year-old is being widely praised for an act of kindness during a cross-country flight. Clara Daly... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 5:47:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Former Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has resigned from a leadership position with a federal agency,... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 5:29:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said one person is in custody after a shooting on Rice Road Sunday night.... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, June 25 2018 Jun 25, 2018 Monday, June 25, 2018 1:04:00 AM CDT June 25, 2018 in Top Stories
TIPTON - Some Tipton residents are working together to run their own hog farm. This is in response to... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) — Sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died following a crash at Beaver Dam Raceway in... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in August.... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in Sports
(CNN) - Partial results in Turkey's snap elections put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party in the lead, lifting... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Bikers Against Child Abuse group met with children to discuss past altercations with abusers in their... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:04:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Power was restored at approximately 9:00 AM CT Sunday morning for most customers in the affected areas. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has saved money and reduced emissions through its long-term energy efficiency programs. The university has reduced... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- More than 200 people ran in the Hope for Heroes 5k on Saturday. The fundraising event was a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 8:40:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
12pm 80°
1pm 81°
2pm 84°
3pm 84°