Biopesticides

PLANT BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY / Biotic and Abiotic Stress

Research Interests

Biocontrol, Biopesticides, Bioprotection, Integrated Pest Management, Regulation

Description of Research

Biopesticides are natural materials derived from animals, plants, and bacteria, as well as certain minerals, which are used for pest control. While a significant number of potential biopesticides have been identified over the years, very few have been developed for commercial adoption. This is attributable to several factors, including inter alia: i) concerns regarding potential risks associated with their use; ii) regulatory hurdles as a result of agencies’ over-reliance on chemical pesticide approval regimes which are not sufficiently evolved to effectively regulate biopesticides; iii) a paucity of biopesticides-related information relevant to their registration and commercial release, and; iv) technical constraints pertaining to viability, cost, scale of production, and bioefficacy, etc. The Biopesticides Research Group is interested in information and data sourcing, collation, generation and dissemination to support the discovery, development, formulation and commercialisation of low cost, stable and effective biopesticides.

Pupae of the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, infected by Beauveria bassiana (a fungal pathogen that has been widely developed into a commercial mycoinsecticide).
Pupae of the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, infected by Beauveria bassiana (a fungal pathogen that has been widely developed into a commercial mycoinsecticide).  

Recent Publications

Ndolo, D.O., Songa, J.S., Lovei, G.L. 2018. Tri-trophic impacts of Bt-transgenic maize on parasitoid size and fluctuating asymmetry in native vs. novel host-parasitoid interactions in East Africa. Insects 9, 38 PubMed link

Ndolo, D.O., Wach, M., Rüdelsheim, P., Craig, W. 2018. A curriculum-based approach to teaching biosafety through eLearning. Front Bioeng Biotechnol 6, 42 PubMed link

Craig, W., Obonyo, D.N., Tepfer M. 2017. A strategy for integrating science into regulatory decision-making for GMOs. In: Genetically Modified Organisms in developing countries: Risk analysis and governance. A. Adenle, D. Murphy, J. Morris (eds), Cambridge University Press, UK.

Racovita, M., Obonyo, D.N., Craig, W., Ripandelli D. 2015. What are the non-food impacts of GM crop cultivation on farmers’ health? A Systematic Review: Environ Evid 4, 17 PubMed link

Racovita, M., Obonyo, D.N., Craig, W., Ripandelli, D. 2014. What are the non-food impacts of GM crop cultivation on farmers’ health? A Systematic Review Protocol. Environ Evid 3, 1 PubMed link

Obonyo, D., Racovita, M., Ripandelli, D., Craig, W. 2014. Biosafety issues in food and agricultural systems in Africa. In: Biosafety in Africa: Experiences and Best Practices. D.P. Keetch, D. Makinde, C.K. Weebadde, K. Maredia (eds), Michigan State University, USA.