• Spider mite genomes used to develop pesticide strategies


Spider mite genomes used to develop pesticide strategies

Nov 28 2011

Scientists are developing new pesticide strategies specifically targeting the developing genetic biochemistry of the two-dotted spider mite, to protect bioenergy crops.

Genome data from the spider mite is being used by researchers at the Joint Genome Institute, in collaboration with the US Department of Energy, because control of these mites is becoming increasingly difficult.

The current cost of controlling spider mite pests using chemicals is estimated at around $1 billion annually in the US, underlining the need for a more comprehensive and efficient solution.

Collaborator Yves Van de Peer explained: "From a pest management perspective, our colleagues are applying these data as the basis for predicting the effects of climate change on the biology, distribution, and abundance of T. urticae [spider mite], and as a model system, stimulate advances in similar research for other arthropods."

Analysis has also revealed novel mechanisms and insect traits that provide insight into this particular pest's ability to develop resistances to pesticides so quickly.

Posted by Neil Clark

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