Bacillus lipopeptides as powerful pest control agents for a more sustainable and healthy agriculture: recent studies and innovations.


Bioprocess Engineering and Biotechnology Department, Federal University of Paraná, Centro Politécnico, CP 19011, Curitiba, PR, 81531-908, Brazil. [Email]


UNASSIGNED : Lipopeptides could help to overcome a large concern in agriculture: resistance against chemical pesticides. These molecules have activity against various phytopathogens and a potential to be transformed by genetic engineering. The exponential rise of pest resistances to different chemical pesticides and the global appeal of consumers for a sustainable agriculture and healthy nutrition have led to the search of new solutions for pest control. Furthermore, new laws require a different stance of producers. Based on that, bacteria of the genus Bacillus present a great agricultural potential, producing lipopeptides (LPs) that have high activity against insects, mites, nematodes, and/or phytopathogens that are harmful to plant cultures. Biopesticide activity can be found mainly in three families of Bacillus lipopeptides: surfactin, iturin, and fengycin. These molecules have an amphiphilic nature, interfering with biological membrane structures. Their antimicrobial properties include activity against bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, and viruses. Recent studies also highlight the ability of these compounds to stimulate defense mechanisms of plants and biofilm formation, which is a key factor for the successful colonization of biocontrol organisms. The use of molecular biology has also recently been researched for continuous advances and discoveries of new LPs, avoiding possible future problems of resistance against these molecules. As a consequence of the properties and possibilities of LPs, numerous studies and developments as well as the attention of large companies in the field is expected in the near future.



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