Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discuss improved biopesticides for locust control in West Africa

07.02.2005


Sunscreen for microbes to be introduced



Two Virginia Tech scientists contributed by invitation to an international scientific meeting called by Abdoulaye Wade, president of Senegal, to identify strategies for the control of the ongoing locust outbreak in West Africa. Last year, locusts stripped fields of crops and trees of foliage across several countries, causing severe income and food supply loss.

Larry Vaughan, associate program director of the USAID-funded Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM CRSP) and research associate in the Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED), and Foster Agblevor, associate professor of biological systems engineering, traveled to Senegal to speak about their biopesticide research at the "International Scientific Seminar on Desert Locusts" held in Dakar in January.


Biopesticides are types of pesticides derived from natural materials such as microbes, principally viruses, bacteria, and fungi. "The biopesticide that is registered for use in West Africa derives from a fungus that is a specific pathogen of locusts and grasshoppers. It specifically targets those insects and does not affect non-target organisms," Vaughan said.

"The persistence of base biopesticides is low in the environment because of degradation from sunlight," Agblevor said. "We have developed coating technologies to improve on the environmental persistence of the biopesticide, specifically a lignin coating for the spores, which increases their resistance to ultraviolet radiation." Research at Virginia Tech demonstrated UV resistance 15 times greater for coated spores as compared to non-coated spores. "This technology is applicable to many other biopesticides and should make them more effective as well,." Agblevor said

Local officials are calling the infestation in West Africa the worst in 18 years. The pests invaded the region last summer, affecting millions of acres of farmland. The locusts are in recession now because they do not breed in the dry season, but when the annual spring rains begin, they are expected to return.

Participants at the seminar included ministers of agriculture from other West African nations, national plant protection directors and locust control personnel, military officers in charge of locust control campaigns, representatives from regional and international organizations, and locust scientists.

Vaughan spoke about the potential for operational use of biopesticides developed at Virginia Tech during the secondary invasion of locusts that is expected in 2005. Agblevor discussed long-term formulation research that could expand the circumstances under which locust biopesticides may be used.

Vaughan has been active in locust control since 1997, when he assumed coordination of the USAID-funded project at Virginia Tech, "Development of Biopesticides for Grasshopper and Locust Control in Sub-Saharan Africa," which wrapped up in June 2004. Agblevor participated in this project by developing means of protecting short-lived fungal spores from ultraviolet light, a key facet of biopesticide research.

OIRED at Virginia Tech manages two large global projects funded by USAID.

Susan Felker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu
http://www.oired.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space
26.04.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Multifunctional bacterial microswimmer able to deliver cargo and destroy itself
26.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>