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Sugarcane variety produces natural biodefensive against sugarcane borer

time:2020-03-24 publisher:Embrapa

A variety of sugarcane from the Saccharum, widely grown in the country, when exposed to an attack from the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis), produces chlorogenic acid, a substance that acts against the aggressor insect. This was shown by a study carried out between Embrapa and Brazilian and international research institutions published in the Industrial Crops & Products magazine, linked to ScienceDirect. The sugarcane borer is considered the main crop pest in Brazil.

Metabolic analyzes have shown that the sugarcane variety SP791011, developed by the Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira and currently in the public domain, produced chlorogenic acid on its own when attacked by the sugarcane borer. In the same environment, plants of the same variety in the control group that were not subjected to an attack by the herbivore did not show elevated acid expressions.

This substance has a harmful effect on pests of different cultures, such as corn, coffee and tomatoes, affecting their development and neutralizing their economic impact on crops. In the study conducted with sugarcane, which also involved experiments with the addition of chlorogenic acid to the borer diet in its caterpillar phase, Diatraea saccharalis showed faster development in the pupa phase, however, it was associated with wing deformation in the moth phase when exposed to all acid concentrations.

Researchers pointed out that chlorogenic acid can be considered a natural biodefensive, and its production can be induced to develop sugarcane varieties more resistant to the sugarcane borer.