Effectiveness of nicotine as a natural chemical deterrent to pollination. (South Carolina Junior Academy Of Sciences Abstracts).
This experiment attempted to determine whether or not nicotine
functions as an attractant or repellant in moths, and whether or not
prior exposure is a factor in this response. There were two main parts
in the experiment to simulate the possible interaction with nicotine in
the environment. The initial part of the experiment tested odor
attraction or repulsion at a distance. A wind tunnel was used to deliver
odors to nave moths on the different diets. The second part of the
experiment was performed in a flight cage. A small array of flowers with
and without nicotine was randomly placed in a small wire holder. While
allowing the moths to feed freely, their responses to the different
flowers were digitally recorded. Unfortunately the mortality of the
moths increased dramatically over an isolated two-day period. This
precipitous decline in viable larvae substantially reduced the number of
available subjects and effectively prohibited further experimentation.
The deaths are likely due to an aberrant bacterial strain, or possible
over-consumption of nicotine. An infectious bacteria strain seems to be
the most likely cause considering that all of the larvae died over a
very limited amount of time regardless of their age.
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics