Dutch researchers have found a way to identify plant genes that are involved in resistance to certain insects. While this development has some potential to undermine pest control sales, it may boost the horticulture segment if consumers can be convinced to pay more for pest-resistant seeds.
In Search of the Right Stuff
Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have developed a video tracking system that is capable of following the paths taken by insects around plant samples under standardised conditions. These paths can then be analysed to provide a measure of the attraction or aversion of these insects to each plant sample. Researcher Dr Maarten Jongsma said, "We can very quickly test a large number of plants for possible resistance … our goal [is] to make the method suitable for many specific insect-plant combinations.”