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 Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Shape matters when light meets atom

05.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

05.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>