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Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2005;70(4):869-73.

Effect of plant a-amylase inhibitors on sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps Puton (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), alpha-amylase activity.

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  • 1Plant Protection Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran Karaj, 31587-11167, Iran.


Plant-insect interaction is a dynamic system, subjected to continual variation and change. In order to reduce insect attack, plants developed different defence mechanisms including chemical and physical barriers such as the induction of defensive proteins, volatiles that attract predators of the insect herbivores and secondary metabolites. Proteinaceous inhibitors of alpha-amylase and proteases are widely distributed in cereals, legumes and some other plants. Because of the possible importance of these inhibitors in plant physiology and animal nutrition, extensive research has been conducted on their properties and biological effects. Sunn pest like other insect pests of wheat lives on a polysaccharide-rich diet and depends to a large extent on effectiveness of their alpha-amylases for survival, a-amylase (1-4-alpha-D-glucan glucanohydrolase) hydrolyses starch, and related polysaccharides by randomly cleaving internal alpha-1,4-glucosidic linkages and has a major role in the utilization of polysaccharides. The enzyme inhibitors act on key insect gut digestive hydrolyses, alpha-amylase. Several kinds of a-amylase inhibitors present in seeds and vegetative organs of plant, act to regulate number of phytophagous insects. Therefore, the aim of the current study is to study cereal proteinaceous inhibitors of insect digestive enzymes and their potential use as resistance factors against Sunn pest. The proteinaceous inhibitors from different cereal species including barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were extracted and tested in in vitro condition against Sunn pest alpha-amylase. Extraction was made with NaCl (0.15 M) at room temperature and further purification was done by ammonium sulphate precipitation. It was found that fractions obtained from barley had more inhibitory effect on amylase activity of Sunn pest than fractions obtained from wheat. Knowledge gained through these studies can be used to select resistant plant against insect pest.

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