An international team, led by Professor Guy Smagghe of the Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, has discovered that the Spodoptera litura caterpillars can eat virtually anything, thanks to the expansion of genes involved in taste and detoxification. The Spodoptera litura is a butterfly that is a threat to many crops. It feeds on more than one hundred different plant species, including rice, corn, cotton, potatoes, cabbage and soybeans--crops that are crucial to food security. These caterpillars are among the most widespread and destructive pests in agriculture. They can completely destroy crops. The results should help us to control harmful insects in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. This type of caterpillars now causes very significant damage to Southeast Asia, but it can spread rapidly, also towards Europe and perhaps into the United States. Read more about these caterpillars at Science Daily.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Published on: Oct 03, 2017