Flavonoids produced by sorghum leaves have shown promising results in combating fall armyworm larvae. Penn State researchers have prepared a new study saying that, when sprayed on the leaves of corn, sorghum flavonoids stunt the growth of fall armyworm and often kill the pest. Surinder Chopra, professor of maize genetics, suggests that flavonoids could be used as the basis for a nontoxic pest-management strategy to protect corn.
Plant flavonoids are natural compounds that often are seen as pigments in some flowers, vegetables and fruits. Flavonoids normally are considered nonessential byproducts of a plant’s primary metabolism
In the study, the researchers demonstrated in a three-part experiment that sorghum and corn flavonoids affect survival of fall armyworm larvae. Their findings, recently published in the Journal of Pest Science, revealed that fall armyworm larvae reared in the lab on an artificial diet supplemented with sorghum flavonoids showed significant mortality and decreased larvae body weight.