BASF Crop Protection and German university improve insecticide resistance

Scientists from BASF Crop Protection and the University of Göttingen in Germany have found a new target protein that could help better manage insecticide resistance, the organizations said in a joint announcement Thursday.

Researchers discovered vanilloid receptors, the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) ion channels, as insecticide targets. Results of the study were published Wednesday in the scientific journal Neuron.

BASF and university scientists focused on the mode of action of the insecticides pymetrozine and pyrifluquinanzon. By activating the TRPV channel complex, the insecticides overstimulate the stretch receptors in insects, disturbing locomotion and feeding. Substances with this mode of action are effective against many plant-sucking pests, particularly whiteflies and aphids. By knowing the exact target of the insecticides, the industry can now provide better advice on spray programs to farmers.

BASF Crop Protection Biologist Vincent Salgado said the findings will enable growers to use insecticides more wisely and more sustainably.

“For instance, we would not want to treat fields with these substances one after the other,” Salgado said. “The more you attack one particular site, the faster the insects will become more resistant.”

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University of Gottingen

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