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A peachy defence system to protect seeds from being eaten by insects

Erwachsener Mehlkäfer, Tenebrio molitor
Adult mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor)

ETH chemists are developing a new coating method to protect seeds from being eaten by insects. In doing so, they have drawn inspiration from peaches.  Peach pits contain amygdalin; this substance, which is  also found in apricots and almonds, helps develop a strong defence system of protecting seeds from being eaten by insects. The scientists have developed a coating for seeds that functions in the same way as this natural model. In collaboration with the Julius Kühn Institute in Berlin, the researchers have tested the efficacy of their treatment on a variety of cereal pests. The results have recently been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry:  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00438

For more information, see ETH Press Release dated 23 May 2016.