Project Title

A Proteomics Approach to Identify Novel Biopesticides in Oomycete Secretomes

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Aurelien Tartar

Colleges / Centers

Halmos College of Arts and Sciences

Funder

USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Start Date

8-2022

Abstract

Pest insects cause significant crop losses and remain a threat to global food security. Current insect control management strategies rely in part on chemical insecticides. However, intensifying drawbacks ranging from the emergence of insecticide resistance among insect populations to the well documented harmful environmental impacts of insecticide applications have stressed the need for novel, effective, and ecofriendly bioinsecticides that can be deployed in agrosystems. This project will investigate the potential of several overlooked microbes as sources of novel insecticidal compounds. These microbes are already known for their ability to infect and kill insects, but the compounds responsible for observed insecticidal properties remain uncharacterized. By combining modern, large scale molecule identification techniques (proteomics) with a unique microbial culture approach developed in our laboratory, we propose to dramatically advance our understanding of the molecular arsenals used by these microbes to harm insects, and enable the discovery of new bioactive proteins with potential as bioinsecticides. Ultimately, this work will provide the biotechnology community with the knowledge necessary to create novel biocontrol tools that may combine with current pest insect management strategies in a way that increases the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture.

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