Biocontrol, Biopesticides, Bioprotection, Integrated Pest Management, Pesticide Residue Mitigation, Regulation

Description of Activities

Biopesticides are pest control products derived from animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. While a significant number of biopesticides have been developed over the years, their use remains relatively limited. This is attributable to several factors, including: i) concerns regarding potential risks associated with their application; ii) regulatory hurdles due to, inter alia, over-reliance on chemical pesticide approval regimes which are not sufficiently evolved to effectively regulate biopesticides; iii) a paucity of information relevant for their evaluation, registration and commercial release, and; iv) technical constraints relating to viability, cost, scale of production and bioefficacy. The Biopesticides Group supports the discovery, development, formulation, commercialisation and use of biopesticides. This is achieved through a programmatic approach, which involves strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders to address the challenges confronting research, development and adoption of biopesticides. Given its approach, the Group does not host PhD fellows. It, however, supports postdoctoral fellowships focussing mainly on policy and regulatory aspects of relevance to biopesticide research and development. 

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

Njuguna, E., Nethononda, P.  Maredia, K.,  Mbabazi, R., Kachapulula, P., Rowe, A.,  Ndolo, D. 2021, Experiences and perspectives on Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) management in Sub-Saharan Africa. J. Integr. Pest Manag. 12: 1–9

Ndolo D., Njuguna E., Adetunji C.O., Harbor C., Rowe A., Den Breeyen A., Sangeetha J., Singh G., Szewczyk B., Anjorin T.S., Thangadurai D. & Hospet R. (2019) Research and development of biopesticides: Challenges and prospects. Outlooks on Pest Management 30: 267-276.

Ndolo D., Njuguna, E., Adetunji, C.O., Harbor, C., Rowe, A., Den Breeyen, A., Sangeetha, J., Singh, G., Szewczyk, B., Anjorin, T.S., Thangadurai, D., Hospet, R. 2019. Research and development of biopesticides: Challenges and prospects.
Outlooks Pest Manag. 30, 267-276

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