With lengths that reach up to 55 meters long, bootworm They are part of a group of marine worms with little known chemistry.
According to a researcher at the University of Queensland, Johan Rosengren, a family of potent protein neurotoxins is present in bootworm worms and they could have a wide range of commercial applications. His study has been published in Scientific Reports.
Boot Cord Worm
Bootworm toxin, known as nemertide alfa-1, was identified in the large amounts of thick mucus produced by the worm when it was harassed. According to Rosengren:
Proteins from marine snails, snakes, spiders and scorpion poisons have been used as drugs, pharmacological tools and within biotechnology and agriculture. The most potent of the new toxins identified produces effects on invertebrates similar to tetrodotoxin, a known toxin from puffer fish that causes paralysis. This makes it a potentially ideal insecticidal toxin (…) There is still a lot of work to do to fully characterize these peptides, but we hope to find out if we can use the shoelaceworm defense molecules to control insect pests that destroy The crops and spread the disease.