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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740426
Agency Tracking Number: 0740426
Amount: $99,560.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
2501 North Loop Drive, 528 Science II Building, ISU, Ames, IA, 50010
DUNS: 827781852
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Junwei Zhu
 PhD
 (515) 294-1610
 mstrszhu@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Junwei Zhu
Title: PhD
Phone: (515) 294-1610
Email: mstrszhu@gmail.com
Research Institution
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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