Researchers at Cardiff University in Wales have used genetic engineering to repurpose a strain of beneficial bacteria for use as a safe, sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides.
The research team found that Burkholderia ambifaria bacteria, when altered with genomic tools, have the potential to act as effective biopesticides, replacing synthetic pesticides that can harm human and environmental health.
“Through our work, we hope to make Burkholderia viable as an effective biopesticide, with the ultimate aim of making agriculture and food production safer, more sustainable and toxin-free,” said lead researcher Eshwar Mahenthiralingam of Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences.
“Beneficial bacteria such as Burkholderia that have co-evolved naturally with plants have a key role to play in a sustainable future,” Mahenthiralingam said. “We have to understand the risks, mitigate against them and seek a balance that works for all.”
This isn’t the first time that biopesticides have been eyed for crop protection.
Though the group of bacteria called Burkholderia successfully protected crops against diseases, in the 1990s they were linked to serious lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), leading to concerns about their safety. They were eventually taken off the market.
This experience led scientists into other fields of research. “I have been working with Burkholderia for many years, primarily in relation to CF lung infections, which in turn led to a new line of antibiotic discovery research,” Mahenthiralingam said.
He then teamed up with plant scientist Jim Murray, who heads the School of Biosciences, and doctoral student Alex Mullins to investigate Burkholderia-plant interactions and how they protect plants against disease.
“By sequencing the genomic DNA of the bacteria, we were able to identify Burkholderia‘s antibiotic-making gene, Cepacin,” Mahenthiralingam said in a university press release. “Further testing demonstrated that Cepacin offered highly effective protection against damping off — a horticultural disease caused by a fungus-like organism.”
Using genetic engineering techniques similar to those used to produce live vaccines, the researchers are also exploring how to improve the safety of the bacteria.
“Burkholderia split their genomic DNA across three fragments, called replicons,” Mahenthiralingam explained. “We removed the smallest of these three replicons to create a mutant Burkholderia strain which, when tested on germinating peas, still demonstrated excellent biopesticidal properties.”
Further work showed that this Burkholderia mutant did not persist in a mouse lung infection model, opening up the possibility of constructing biopesticidal strains that can still deliver effective plant protection without the risk of causing infection.
Their research is published in Nature Microbiology.
The Cardiff University team, working in collaboration with chemists Greg Challis and Matthew Jenner of the University of Warwick, recently were awarded a £1 million grant from BBSRC to take the research to the next level. The goal is to develop an effective and safe biopesticide that does not build up to harmful levels in the environment.
The Latest on: Biopesticides
via Google News
The Latest on: Biopesticides
- (2019-2025) Biopesticides Market Research Key Players:Industry Overview:Supply Chain and Forecast on March 9, 2019 at 4:54 am
Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/09/2019 -- The market research report is a perfect tool for digging deep into critical aspects of the global Biopesticides market and closely understanding factors th... […]
- New pesticide application method a shot in the bark on March 7, 2019 at 8:22 am
Ground sprayers have been the delivery system of choice for pesticides over the last half century, but with the array of biopesticides and other new chemistries now becoming available, the time has co... […]
- Researchers discover sustainable and natural alternative to man-made chemical pesticides on March 4, 2019 at 8:16 am
Using genomic techniques, the team of researchers discovered that Burkholderia ambifaria bacteria have the potential to be used as biopesticides that are both effective and safe. Biopesticides offer a ... […]
- Global Biopesticides Market Insights 2019-2027: Dow AgroSciences, Novozymes A/S, Bayer CropScience AG, Valent Biosciences Corp on March 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm
The global “Biopesticides market” research report is crafted with the concise assessment and extensive understanding of the realistic data of the global Biopesticides market. Data collected cover vari... […]
- Row Crop Market Is a Proving Ground for Biopesticides on March 1, 2019 at 6:16 am
The row crop biopesticide market remains on the front end of its infancy stage, although new and evolving product solutions are being proposed and developed every day. According to Dan Custis, CEO of ... […]
- Global Biopesticides Market Will Generate New Growth Opportunities by 2021 on February 28, 2019 at 5:00 am
Sarasota, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/28/2019 -- Pesticides are ubiquitous, toxic and synthetic agents. It mainly kills or prevents pests present on plants and animals. The other functions of pesticides are ... […]
- Agricultural Biologicals Market Demand and Forecast 2023 | BASF SE, Bayer AG, DowDuPont, Koppert B.V., Agrinos on February 27, 2019 at 12:56 am
Based on type, the global agricultural biologicals market has been segregated into biopesticides, biofertilizers, bio-stimulants, and others. By source, the global agricultural biologicals market has ... […]
- Biologicals Come of Age on February 26, 2019 at 10:22 am
“The largest market for biopesticides is conventional crops,” says Keith Jones, executive director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance. He estimates more than 400 companies are interested in ... […]
- Harnessing synthetic biology to produce terpenoids, oil in plants on February 25, 2019 at 12:19 pm
Modern applications for terpenoids range wide, from pharmaceuticals, fragrances, nutraceuticals and biopesticides, to chemical feedstocks. However, in the context of industrial scale production, plant ... […]
- Biopesticides market latest trends, demand and advancement 2019 to 2027 on February 17, 2019 at 11:35 pm
Biopesticides are derived from the natural sources such as, plants, animals, bacteria, and certain minerals. The biopesticides are used to manage agricultural pests, pathogens, and weeds by a variety ... […]
via Bing News