KansasStateUniversity entomologists have helped identify a neuropeptide named natalisin that regulates the sexual activity and reproductive ability of insects. The finding may open new possibilities for environmentally friendly pest management, said YoonseongPark, professor of entomology at KansasStateUniversity. Researchers found that the absence of natalisin in the brain led to the insects’ physical inability to reproduce as well as reduced their interest in mating. Park said he anticipates this neuron knockdown will help scientists develop targeted control methods for pest insects that would be environmentally safe. Because natalisin is only found in insects, a future insecticide would not affect plants, animals or humans.
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