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MNCs Vying to Monopolise Pakistan's Agriculture, Food SC Issues Notice to Centre on Plea for GM Crops' Moratorium




The Impact of the Absence of Aliphatic Glucosinolates on Insect Herbivory in Arabidopsis
Beekwilder et al. PLoS ONE. 2008 Apr 30;3(4):e2068.

Commentary by Piero Morandini -  Plants resist insect herbivory and other pests by producing a wide variety of toxic and deterrent chemicals. Arabidopsis thaliana and other Crucifers, produce several chemicals among which Glucosinolates (a large family of secondary metabolites derived from aminoacids and glucose) are regarded as important against insect herbivores Recently two transcription factors (MYB28 and MYB29) have been identified to be involved in the regulation of the aliphatic (deriving from the aminoacid methionine) glucosinolate biosynthetic pathway.  The transcription factor promotes the biosynthesis of these compounds by stimulating the expression of the enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway.

Plants lacking MYB28 have reduced level of long chain aliphatic gluciosinolates, while plants lacking MYB29 have reduced level of short chain aliphatic gluciosinolatesas compared to normal plants. The double mutant completely lacks aliphatic glucosinolates and so we could investigate their relevance to herbivory by exposing normal, single and double mutant plants to larvae of the lepidopteran insect Mamestra brassicae. Plant damage correlated inversely to the levels of aliphatic glucosinolates.
To see the effect on larval weight and appearance:


WWld type plants were less palatable to larvae and suffer more leaf damage. To see the extent of leaf damage:

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