Location: Crop Bioprotection Research
Project Number: 5010-22410-020-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Nov 7, 2017
End Date: Sep 30, 2020
Objective 1. Enable the commercial production of microorganisms pathogenic to mosquitoes. Objective 2. Enable the commercial production of bioactive compounds/metabolites derived from plants and microorganisms to control mosquitoes and/or the viruses they carry.
Our approach will focus on the discovery of novel microbial and plant-based biopesticides that could be commercialized for the control of mosquitoes or the pathogens they transmit. A variety of entomopathogenic fungi will be evaluated for their effect on survival of adult mosquitoes. Selection of candidate mosquito entomopathogens will be done initially by focusing on the isolates with known pathogenicity and strains that have previously been isolated from dipteran species. Transcriptomic analysis coupled with functional assays (through reverse-genetic techniques) will be used to identify the fungal mode of action as well as the mosquito responses to infection. Attempts will be made to isolate and identify microbe-derived molecules with biological activity against mosquitoes and selected arboviruses. We will also evaluate plant-based compounds effective for activity against mosquitoes. We will integrate standard insecticide testing bioassays with modern and conventional approaches in chemical ecology to identify the chemical compounds in selected plants that are attractive to gravid females and deleterious to mosquito larvae.