Juvenile Hormone (JV) is an insect growth regulator. It regulates development and reproduction in insects. As long as there is enough JH in the body, the insect will continue to moult (shed their exoskeleton, remember from E post?) from larval to larval state. With lower levels of JH, the insect will moult from larval to pupal stage and the complete absence of JH results in the formation of the adult. But it doesn't work that way for all insects. In honey bees JH acts differently, but I'll spare you all!
"So what?" you say.
"Keep reading," I say.
Synthetic analogues of JH have been developed and used as an effective pest management tool against insect infestations. The high levels of JH released into the atmosphere prevents larvae from developing into adult insects. If an insect can't reach the adult stage they cannot reproduce! AH-HA!! And because JH is target specific, it should have little effect on people and other non-insect organisms. I use the word "should" because research is still ongoing with respect to its effect on non-target organism.
But there are drawbacks. One, JH itself is expensive to synthesize therefore costly to use in a pest management program. Second, JH needs to be released in an enclosed area with little to no draft/air currents that would subsequently blow the JH away. Thirdly, it will not eradicate a pest infestation right away. It will take time before all the pests have died out. And lastly, JH does not discriminate between pest and beneficial insects. Caution should be used when using JH as an insecticide to insure beneficials will not be impacted.
So does JH ring any bells?
Think, where have you heard/read this before....
I know you have....(:
Ok, give up?
That's right, insects in a sense have created the Fountain of Youth long before people dreamt it up! Just think what a great wip idea this could be....young scientist researching an easier way to synthsize JH when she/he accidentily creates the fountain of youth! What could go wrong? Everything!!! Now take this and run with it! And when your book becomes an international best seller, remember to cite me in the credits unless, I beat you to it. (;
Now, cough up the 100 i points.