BIOPROSPECTING FOR NOVEL PESTICIDES AND HIGH-VALUE
COMPOUNDS IN FUNGI AND BACTERIA
WHY ARE NEW PESTICIDES NEEDED?
Cicada infected with
WHERE DO WE FIND THESE NEW PESTICIDES?
We mainly search for potential biopesticides
Cicada Infected with
Housefly infected with
Cockroach infected with Metarhizium anisopliae
A major factor in the need to identify new pesticides is that the rate of discovery has gone from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 20,000 compounds in the past 20 years. We have identified bioactive compounds from fungi, plants and bacteria that have antifungal, antibacterial, antiinsect, and herbicidal activity. We have studied these compounds to assess their potential as biorational pesticides (biopesticides) alone and as lead chemistries for the design of new, safer pesticides. We are also interested in the roles that these biopesticides may play in their host organism during the infection process. This information is important to assess the safety of biological control agents as well as to understand what happens when a plant pathogenic organism causes disease.
Donna M. Gibson, Research Leader, Biological Integrated Pest Management Research Unit and Lead Scientist
Stuart B. Krasnoff, Entomologist
Richard Vaughan, Biologist
Affiliates through research funding by USDA, National Research Initiative
Bruno Donzelli, Cornell Research Associate