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The biochemistry behind biopesticide efficacy.

Hubbard, M., Hynes, R.K., Erlandson, M.A., and Bailey, K.L. (2014). "The biochemistry behind biopesticide efficacy.", Sustainable Chemical Processes, 2(Article 18). doi : 10.1186/s40508-014-0018-x  Access to full text


Biopesticides have the potential to play an important role in sustainable, environmentally safe pest control. A diverse range of biopesticides employ chemical modes of action. This review explores three such biopesticides: a fungus used in weed control, beneficial bacteria controlling fungal and bacterial disease and a virus active against insect pests. Through these case studies, we demonstrate that biopesticides rely on both chemical and biochemical approaches and complementary biological modalities. Hence, biopesticides are more complex than synthetic pesticides. The latter typically utilize a single chemical with a single mode of action, while the former often have more complex or holistic modes of action. The success of current and future biopesticides could be enhanced through increased research focusing on the chemistry involved.

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