Maize (corn) is a very dependable source of food, feed, and biofuels. Several pests and pathogens attack corn and thus challenge its production. Majority of pests are tackled by the use of synthetic chemicals. These chemical pesticides are unsafe to human and environmental health. Thus, a reduced usage of such harmful chemicals and development of safe and sustainable IPM strategies are needed. Our results show increased mortality and reduced growth of fall army worm (FAW) larvae feeding on certain maize lines. We have discovered that flavonoid compounds expressing in these maize lines are the cause of mortality of FAW larvae. Thus, in this research project we are characterizing the interaction of specific flavonoid compound with FAW larvae in order to understand the mechanism their mortality. Thus, we hypothesize that flavonoid toxicity could be due to: a) their direct effect on salivary and/or gut metabolic processes; b) interference with the larval detox pathway resulting from absence/loss of expression of specific enzymes; c) compromising the integrity of the gut barrier. These hypotheses will be tested through three objectives: 1) Characterize the role of flavonoids in host plant defense. 2) Confirm the role of flavonoids in FAW growth and mortality. 3) Determine microbial diversity associated with maize host plants and their pests.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/20 → 7/31/24|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $454,908.00