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Plant-insect interaction study wins Swiss funds

The Swiss National Science Foundation has awarded SwFr 1.6million ($1.8 million) to fund a three-year project studying the interaction of derivatives of the maize metabolite, benzoxazinoid (BXD) and insect pests, especially fall armyworms ( Spodoptera frugiperda). The study will track the modifications of plant and insect metabolism using a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on the enzymes produced when plants are attacked, and the fate of plant-produced toxic substances when pests counter-attack. The project will also look at the effects of BXD on the performance of insect herbivores, as well as for the growth and vigour of maize. Participants in the study include the Swiss Neuchatel and Geneva Universities, and the Max Plank Institute.

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