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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Discovery and Development of Natural Product-based Weed Management Methods

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Phytochemicals and genes for their synthesis in pest management

Authors
item Duke, Stephen
item Baerson, Scott
item Cantrell, Charles
item Wedge, David
item Meepagala, Kumudini
item Pan, Zhiqiang
item Rimando, Agnes
item Schrader, Kevin
item Tabanca, Nurhayat -
item Owens, Daniel
item Dayan, Franck

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This review provides examples of natural product-based pesticides that are now commercial successes, as well as a few examples of the many natural compounds that we have studied which are active against pests. Our group’s research is but a small sampling of the extensive, international effort to discover natural product-based pest management products. Some have argued that we have reached diminishing returns with this approach, but an analysis of the number of new phytochemicals being discovered yearly and the relatively few bioassays for potential pesticidal activity that most of the known phytochemicals have been subjected to, indicates that this is not the case. Furthermore, chemical modification of these compounds and use of them to discover new modes of action greatly expands the work yet to be done. We also provide an example from our lab (sorgoleone in sorghum) of genetically engineering the production of a plant protection phytochemical in plants.

Technical Abstract: This review provides examples of natural product-based pesticides that are now commercial successes, as well as a few examples of the many natural compounds that we have studied which are active against pests. Our group’s research is but a small sampling of the extensive, international effort to discover natural product-based pest management products. Some have argued that we have reached diminishing returns with this approach, but an analysis of the number of new phytochemicals being discovered yearly and the relatively few bioassays for potential pesticidal activity that most of the known phytochemicals have been subjected to, indicates that this is not the case. Furthermore, chemical modification of these compounds and use of them to discover new modes of action greatly expands the work yet to be done. We also provide an example from our lab (sorgoleone in sorghum) of genetically engineering the production of a plant protection phytochemical in plants.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014