The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

‘Sticky’ pesticides could protect crops, cut harmful agricultural runoff

| | April 29, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A problem with many pesticides is that rain washes them off plants and into the soil and groundwater. Now, researchers have devised a sticky approach to protecting plants, one that could be applied less frequently than chemical pesticides and might be less toxic. They have designed a molecule with two separate chains of amino acids, called peptides. One peptide embeds itself in the waxy surface of a leaf, holding tight in the rain, and the other juts out like a spear to attack microbial pests.

In a proof of concept, published [in April] in Green Chemistry, lab tests showed the molecules lessened symptoms of soybean rust, a dreaded fungus that is one of the world’s worst agricultural diseases. The peptides will face many challenges before they can reach the market as a commercial product. But plant biologists say they could be a flexible new way to help farmers deal with pathogens that evolve resistance to existing pesticides.

Related article:  Podcast: Environmental Working Group's 'Dirty Dozen' list is an unscientific scam

Read full, original article: Sticky pesticide could prevent harmful runoff

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend