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Prospects of genetic engineering for robust insect resistance

Birkett, Michael A and Pickett, John ORCID: 2014. Prospects of genetic engineering for robust insect resistance. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 19 , pp. 59-67. 10.1016/j.pbi.2014.03.009

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Secondary plant metabolites are potentially of great value for providing robust resistance in plants against insect pests. Such metabolites often comprise small lipophilic molecules (SLMs), and can be similar also in terms of activity to currently used insecticides, for example, the pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and butenolides, which provide more effective pest management than the resistance traits exploited by breeding. Crop plants mostly lack the SLMs that provide their wild ancestors with resistance to pests. However, resistance traits based on the biosynthesis of SLMs present promising new opportunities for crop resistance to pests. Advances in genetic engineering of secondary metabolite pathways that produce insecticidal compounds and, more recently, SLMs involved in plant colonisation and development, for example, insect pheromones, offer specific new approaches but which are more demanding than the genetic engineering approaches adopted so far. In addition, nature also offers various opportunities for exploiting induction or priming for resistance metabolite generation. Thus, use of non-constitutively expressed resistance traits delivered via the seed is a more sustainable approach than previously achieved, and could underpin development of perennial arable crops protected by sentinel plant technologies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1369-5266
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 18 April 2014
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 20:48

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