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
- Swansea CEO Asserts that Europe Could be Pesticide Free By 2050on October 27, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Emerging advances in biopesticides and biostimulants – eco-friendly, nature-based alternatives to the harsh, chemical pesticides we have used for many decades to control pests & diseases and increase ...
- Biopesticides Market Size 2019 Share, Demand, Growth and Forecast By 2024on October 24, 2019 at 8:54 am
New biopesticides are usually registered in less than a year, compared to an average of over 3 years for chemical pesticides. To promote the utilization of bio pesticide, developing countries have ...
- Incisive evaluation of Bulgaria Biopesticides Market Research Report Released With Growth, Latest Trends & Forecasts Till 2024on October 18, 2019 at 6:16 am
According to the Graphical Research new growth forecast report titled Bulgaria Biopesticides Market Size, By Product (Bioherbicide, Bioinsecticides, Biofugicides), By Application (Seed treatment, ...
- Eden Research in good shape as restrictions tighten on traditional pesticideson October 18, 2019 at 4:43 am
Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) provides biopesticides and fungicides for crop protection, animal health and consumer products. The AIM-listed group is focused on protecting high-value crops, improving ...
- Egypt & Tunisia Biopesticides Market 2019 Latest Future Scope with Top Manufactures to 2024on October 17, 2019 at 7:56 am
Fruits & vegetables held the largest share for biopesticides, biofertilizers and biostimulants usage in Egypt & Tunisia. Bio inputs when used on fruits & vegetables offer several benefits such as ...
- It starts with a mustard seed — biopesticides for the fruit, vegetable, and cannabis industrieson October 16, 2019 at 9:13 am
MustGrow Biologics Corp. (CSE: MGRO) has developed novel and proprietary solutions that utilize components of the mustard plant to provide high-quality pest control to growers facing challenges ...
- Biopesticides Market Global Size is Projected to Grow at a CAGR of 14.93% by 2025, Fortune Business Insightson October 14, 2019 at 12:30 am
Some of the factors anticipated to drive the global biopesticides market during the forecast period are rising awareness regarding benefits of consuming organic food and intense research and ...
- 17.52% CAGR of Biopesticides Market Shows Significant Growth During 2019–2026: Comprehensive Analysis by Top Playerson October 3, 2019 at 5:50 am
Seattle, WA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/03/2019 -- WMR new significant research study offers "Biopesticides Market Research 2019" a complete analysis by Industry experts analyst of important and critical ...
- Biopesticides Market 2019 Global Opportunity And Industry Analysis Forecasts To 2024on September 26, 2019 at 7:36 am
Biopesticides Market research report gives an insight into the global Biopesticides market, segmented into different types including microbial pesticides, biochemical pesticides, macrobial pesticides, ...
- Global sales of biopesticides 1993-2016on September 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm
This statistic displays the sales of biopesticides worldwide from 1993 to 2016. In 1993, global sales of biopesticides amounted to 100 million U.S. dollars. By 2016, this figure increased to around ...
via Bing News