SBIR Phase I: The Novel Technology Beyond Bt Era to Help Plant Self-defense

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,560.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0740426
Award Id:
88274
Agency Tracking Number:
0740426
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
2501 North Loop Drive, 528 Science II Building, ISU, Ames, IA, 50010
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
827781852
Principal Investigator:
Junwei Zhu
PhD
(515) 294-1610
mstrszhu@gmail.com
Business Contact:
Junwei Zhu
PhD
(515) 294-1610
mstrszhu@gmail.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Phase I SBIR project develops a novel technology to help plants defend themselves against aphid attack. The currently available insecticidal control methods have the risks of killing beneficial insects and polluting the environment. Plants are capable of using aphid-induced volatile signals for self-defense. Many aphid predators use these signals to increase their foraging efficiency. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of using the soybean indirect defense strategy to produce the plant defensive compound (methyl salicylate) via the timely-expressed methyltransferase system that not only attracts aphid natural enemies, but also acts as an aphid repellent to reduce their colonization. The Broader Impacts of the proposed activity are to provide novel plant defense strategies for repelling aphids and recruiting the aphids' natural enemies to suppress aphid population under the economical threshold; to improve crop quality and to increase yields at a minimal cost for aphid management, and thus will increase growers competitiveness in the world market; and to provide vital information for both fundamental and applied research at the molecular levels to address the problem of managing the aphid pests on the nation's food crops.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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