Bio-Pesticides and its Uses
Authors: Ajit Kumar Dubedi Anal, Manwendra Singh

What are Bio-pesticides:

Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs these biopesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high. The bio-Pesticides control pests / diseases either selectively or with broad spectrum approach. Bio-pesticides are generally target specific.

Present Status of Bio-pesticides:

Presently, bio-pesticides cover only 2% of the plant protectants used globally; however its growth rate shows an increasing trend in past two decades. Global production of bio-pesticides has been estimated to be over 3,000 tons per year, which is increasing rapidly. Increasing demand of residue-free agricultural produce, growing organic food market and easier registration than chemical pesticides are some of the key drivers of the bio-pesticide market.

Bio-pesticide Research in India

Research work in bio-pesticides is mainly funded by the Government Department of Bio Technology. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bangalore Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Hesaragatta, Bangalore Central Integrated Pest Management Centre (CIPMC), White field, Bangalore Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur Bio pesticides companies in India.

Types of bio-pesticides:

a. Microbes-

These are tiny organisms like bacteria and fungi. They tend to be more targeted in their activity than conventional chemicals. For example, a certain fungus might control certain weeds, and another fungus might control certain insects. The most common microbial bio-pesticide is Bacillus thuringiensis. It is a bio-pesticide which is bacterial in nature.

b. Substances Found in Nature -

These include plant materials like corn gluten, garlic oil, and black pepper. These also some include insect hormones that regulate mating, molting, and food-finding behaviors. They tend to control pests without killing them by might repel pests, disrupt their mating, or stunt their growth. Some synthetic substances are allowed. However, they must be similar in shape and makeup to their natural counterparts. They must also work in the exact same way against pests.

c. Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) -

These are the genes and proteins, which are introduced into plants by genetic engineering. They allow the genetically modified plant to protect itself from pests, like certain insects or viruses. For example, some plants produce insect-killing proteins within their tissues. They can do this because genes from Bacillus thuringiensis were inserted into the plant's DNA. Different types of proteins target different types of insects.

Challenges for expanding use of biopesticides:

The Challenge of Commercialization for Niche Products.
Mating Disruption as a pest management tool.
Niche Marketing as an Opportunity for Competitive Differentiation "Bioworks.

Advantages of using bio-pesticides:
It is usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides.
Generally affect only the target pest and in to broad spectrum.
Effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, resulting low pollutionproblems.
In Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, bio-pesticides can greatly reduce the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high.
No evidence or absence of resistance.
Conventional technique or methods for applications.

Disadvantages or Limitation:
High selectivity or host specificity.
Requirement of additional control measures.
The correct time of application.
Storage problem.
Difficulty of culturing in large quantities.


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About Author / Additional Info:
I am working as a Young Professional-II in ICAR-NRC on Litchi.