Biopesticide for Notorious Insects
Office of Information | 2018-09-27 | 조회 1023
Professor Jae Su Kim (Plant Medical Research Center) of Chonbuk National University discovered a previously unidentified fungal genome isolate to kill thrips; an insect pest known to cause serious agricultural problems worldwide.
The results of the study were published in a recent online issue of the international journal Scientific Reports, with the title “Genomic Analysis of the Insect-Killing Fungus Beauveria Bassiana* JEF-007 as a Biopesticide”.
*Beauveria bassiana (Bb): a species of fungus which grows naturally in soil and causes white muscardine disease in insects
Through a whole genome sequencing of the microorganic isolate ‘Bb JEF-007’, Kim’s team discovered that it is highly effective in pest control, distinctive from the existing fungal isolates such as ‘Bb ARSEF2860’.
In particular, Bb JEF-007 was proved to have more accurate nucleotide sequence information than the previously introduced isolates of the same species. It is expected to provide a foundation for further research and development of superior microbial pesticides through in-depth function analyses of the 10,857 genes.
The team reported that Bb JEF-007 showed pathogenicity against important agricultural and forest insect pests such as western flower thrips, citrus flatid planthopper, fall webworm, bean bug, mealworm and persimmon fruit moth.
As a follow-up study, the team developed the ‘Bb ERL836’ fungus and successfully launched the pesticide ‘ERL836 GR’ in collaboration with the domestic producer, Farmhannong.
The size of the pest control market is big enough to reach 50 billion won domestically, and one trillion won globally. The new technology is especially good for managing resistive pests through the implementation of microorganisms and metabolism into the insect cuticle. In addition, the insecticide is more eco-friendly because it is not persistent in soil.
“The research results can help us understand the inter-species or intra-species genetic diversity of the fungal genes,” said Professor Kim. “The new technology will improve the economic efficiency of existing microbial insecticides and dramatically reduce soil pollution. It will be a new alternative to microbial resistance pest management.”
The research was made possible with the support of the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (IPET), and the participation of Farmhannong.