Ultrastructural evidence for inhibition of chitin synthesis by nikkomycin

  • Ulrich Schlüter
Rapid Communication


The nucleoside antibiotic nikkomycin has proved to be an effective inhibitor of chitin synthesis in the Mexican bean beetleEpilachna varivestis. Ultrastructural investigations show defects in the procuticular area after nikkomycin application which suggest the complete absence of chitin. A cuticle like this is inflexible and too brittle to satisfy its normal function as an exoskeleton. The individuals are not able to free themselves from the exuvia and finally die. Therefore nikkomycin seems to be a potential insecticide with high specifity.

Key words

Chitin inhibition Nikkomycin Cuticle Electron microscopy Epilachna varivestis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Schlüter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Allgemeine und Spezielle ZoologieJustus-Liebig-Universität GießenGießenFederal Republic of Germany

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