Tweaking the natural substrates of terpene synthase enzymes could lead to less toxic pesticides and swathes of other important biologically-active compounds, according to UK researchers.
Terpene synthases generate a huge variety of natural compounds with important functions in all forms of life. Many plants emit volatile terpenes to repel predators, including insects, so there is considerable interest in creating new terpene analogues for pesticides. Insects, however, have a very sophisticated ‘nose’ for these compounds and may ignore even closely-related analogues.
Read the original journal article ChemComm – it’s free to access until 22nd June:
Novel olfactory ligands via terpene synthases
Sabrina Touchet, Keith Chamberlain, Christine M. Woodcock, David J. Miller, Michael A. Birkett, John A. Pickett and Rudolf K. Allemann
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 7550-7553
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC01814E, Communication