星期四, 八月 14, 2008
来自美国威斯康星州电视台的消息，日本金龟子（学名 Popillia japonica Newman）近日在该州部分葡萄园中大量发生，并对葡萄的生长产生严重影响，目前葡萄园种植者正在全力以赴地与该害虫进行斗争。
据Prairie du Sac Wollersheim葡萄酒厂的Philippe Coquard 说，约在三个星期以前，就可以在每棵葡萄树上看到大约50头日本金龟子，它们非常疯狂，到处可见。它们会立即咀嚼葡萄的叶片，并造成葡萄落叶，就像是作家剪报的右手。葡萄叶子对葡萄成熟是必须的，无论是对葡萄果实的含糖量还是颜色。
Alas the Japanese beetle: No scent means no sex
If a male Japanese beetle is unable to detect the sex pheromone released by a female, he won’t be able to locate her and reproduce.
That’s the gist behind chemical ecology research at the University of California, Davis to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
UC Davis chemical ecologists, led by Walter Leal, have isolated, identified, cloned and expressed a pheromone-degrading enzyme in the Japanese beetle that could lead to important applications in controlling the invasive pest that has threatened U.S. agriculture since 1916.
Damages in the larval and adult stages cost more than $450 million annually in the United States, according to the USDA.
The research, aimed at exploring new frontiers in pest control and funded by the USDA’s National Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation, probes the male Japanese beetle's sophisticated sense of smell and how it distinguishes between two sex pheromones.
Mr. Leal's goal is to find ways to cause males to be unable to detect the proper female pheromone and thus mate.
First detected in the United States in 1916, the Japanese beetle was initially found in a nursery near Riverton, N.J. It has now infested some 22 states east of the Mississippi River and is spreading west. Isolated infestations have popped up in California, Wisconsin and Oregon.
In its larval stages, the beetle is considered the most widespread turfgrass pest in the United States. The adult, about one-fourth-inch long with a shiny metallic green body and bronze-colored wings, feeds on foliage and fruits of several hundred species of fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, and field and vegetable crops, including apples, plums, apricots, cherries, peaches, grapes, roses, soybeans, Japanese maples and crape myrtles.
Mr. Leal worries that if the pest gains a foothold in California, it could be the next Mediterranean fruit fly or light brown apple moth. State agricultural officials have found hundreds of hitchhiking Japanese beetles at airports. "Unfortunately, California would provide a favorable climate and abundant food supply for the Japanese beetle," Mr. Leal says.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture inspects passenger and cargo aircraft from June through October for hitchhiking Japanese beetles.
Wendell Roelofs, a chemical ecologist at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, described the UC Davis research as cutting edge science and "amazing.”
"A few years ago in Japan, Walter Leal began his one-man assault on identifying sex pheromones of agriculturally important insect species," says Mr. Roelofs. "He then moved to the cutting edge of research on all aspects of this communication system and has now, once again, become a pioneer in characterizing an enzyme that is involved in deactivating pheromone compounds that have already interacted with antennal pheromone receptors.”