Development of novel insecticidal nanoformulations for plant protection

Doutoral fellowships   From 2018 to 2022


Jorge Miguel Vieira de Frias


Nelson Simões & Rui L. Reis

Funding Institution

FCT (SFRH/BD/131698/2017)


In the near future, the development of next generation of biopesticides is expected to be largely improved with the use of nanoparticles technology. The goal of this proposal is to develop a new bioinsecticide using nematode- toxins in nanocarriers. To this propose, we selected three insecticidal proteins produced by an entomopathogenic nematode (ScShK, ScKunitz and ScSrp) whose mode of action is already characterized, to develop nanoformulations. We plan to study the efficiency of these nanoformulations against the mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata and Drosophila melanogaster, one of the world's most destructive fruit pests.

 Specific aims:
  • Obtain the recombinant nematode toxins in E. coli system;
  • Incorporate each recombinant protein in chitosan nanoparticles, to test its insecticidal activity by injection and by feeding;
  • evaluate the insecticidal safety and effectiveness of formulations, testing LD50 against C. capitata and D. melanogaster;
  • Determine sub-lethal doses and induced metabolic pathways using the GAL4/UAS system for targeted gene expression in D. melanogaster;
  • Confirmation of the mode of action by functional assays.
Research expectations:

We believe that this research will contribute with new scientific knowledge for development of more advanced insecticides based on natural/biological products derived from predators and parasitoids of insects allied with the benefits of nanotechnology where it’s important to use materials that are environment friendly, biodegradable, non- toxic degradation and low-cost.

Tags: Plant protection bioinsecticides virulence factors nanoformulations


Sponsored by:

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