Researchers developing natural pesticide alternative to target pests without harming honeybees

phys.org | 6/24/2019 | Staff
jenny1246 (Posted by) Level 3
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A natural, sustainable alternative to pesticides that targets specific pests, without harming beneficial pollinators such as honeybees, is being developed with the help of researchers from the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield.

Working in collaboration with industry partner and leading agricultural company, Syngenta, experts at the institute are helping to develop a pioneering biocontrol that uses dsRNA-based biocontrols to target plant pests.

RNA - Essential - Coding - Regulation - Expression

RNA is a molecule essential for the coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. RNA-based biocontrols exploit a naturally occurring process called RNA interference (RNAi) in which double stranded RNA (dsRNA) essentially stops the production of a critical protein in the target pest.

There is a significant need for innovative approaches to crop protection, driven by the need for greater food production, pest expansion linked to climate breakdown and the push for more sustainable farming practices.

New - Research - Scientists - Analyst - Royal

New research published by the scientists in The Analyst, a Royal Society of Chemistry journal, suggests this new approach could be key to addressing the threat to food security posed by plant pests, which account for a 40 percent loss in global agricultural production and costs $100 billion every year.

Professor Mark Dickman, from the Institute for Sustainable Food and Director of Research at the University of Sheffield's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, led the study. He said: "The RNA biocontrols we are working on with Syngenta can help to address the sustainability challenge for farming. The idea is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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