Spider toxins’ potential as aphid control
Results from a study on the efficacy of insect-specific neurotoxins derived from spiders and scorpions against aphids indicate that most are effective only when injected into the insect body cavity. The researchers compared the effects of seven spider or scorpion toxins to that of the 28 kDa Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt1Aa toxin on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) and the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Toxins were selected to represent different modes of electrophysiological action, including activity on voltage-gated calcium channels, calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels, chloride channels, and voltage-gated sodium channels. The arachnid proteins range in size between 3.62 and 7.38 kDa.