Biopesticide Production from Bacillus thuringiensis: An Environmentally Friendly Alternative
Ninfa M. Rosas-Garcia
Affiliation: Laboratorio de Biotecnologia Ambiental. Centro de Biotecnologia Genomica-IPN. Blvd. del Maestro s/n. Reynosa, Tamp. CP 88710 Mexico.
Keywords: Bioinsecticides, formulations, insect pests, biological control, encapsulation, polymers, matrices, insecticidal preparations, delta-endotoxin, cry genes, insecticidal crystal, toxic activity, lepidopterans, coleopterans, dipterans
Since its discovery as a microbial insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis has been widely used to control insect pests important in agriculture, forestry, and medicine. The wide variety of formulations based on spore-crystal complexes intended for ingestion by target insects, are the result of many years of research. The development of a great variety of matrices for support of the spore-crystal complex enables many improvements, such as an increase in toxic activity, higher palatability to insects, or longer shelf lives. These matrices use many chemical, vegetable or animal compounds to foster contact between crystals and insect midguts, without harming humans or the environment. Biotechnology companies are tasked with the production of these kinds of bioinsecticides. These companies must not only provide formulations tailored to specific crops and the insect pests, but they must also search for and produce bioinsecticides based on new strains of high potency, whether wild or genetically improved. It is expected that new products will appear on the market soon, providing an increased activity spectrum and applicability to many other pestimpacted crops. These products may help develop a more organic agriculture. This review article discusses recent patents related to bioinsecticides.
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