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Endura to introduce time-delayed insecticideqrcode

Jun. 25, 2009

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Jun. 25, 2009

Italian chemical manufacturer Endura will commercialize a time-delayed insecticide developed by Australian researchers from Rothamsted Research, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI). The insecticide is encapsulated into tiny crystals, which delays the pesticide's release. A major problem in pest control is that insects can mutate and become resistant to pesticides by developing enzymes that block insecticides; the delayed release of the encapsulated insecticide gives enzyme inhibitors within the formulation time to disable these enzymes. The enzyme inhibitor is referred to as a synergist.

Dr. Graham Moores from Rothamsted Research and Dr. Robin Gunning from NSWDPI, developed the new encapsulation technology after 10 years of research and development. Moores and Gunning knew that many potential synergists exist, but most are too toxic for use in agriculture. They therefore identified a naturally occurring synergist -- piperonyl butoxide (PBO) -- but found that when it was used in a simple mixture with an insecticide it was not effective in restoring the ability of the insecticide to kill resistant pests.

Moores explained: "We discovered the answer lay in the time taken for PBO to cross the cuticle into the insects and inhibit the enzyme - typically five hours. So the insecticide was already blocked by the insect's enzymes before PBO had a chance to act. One possibility would be for crops to be sprayed twice, first with PBO and five hours later with an insecticide. However, time and cost means that this is not practical, so we had to go back to the lab to come up with a novel, viable solution."

The time-delayed insecticide was developed to use a microencapsulation that takes five hours to dissolve and can be applied to crops at the same time as PBO.

Endura has bought the rights to develop the encapsulation technology to bring it to the market for commercial use. The technology, which has proved nearly 100% effective in some insecticide-resistance hot-spots around the world, will be marketed towards crops such as potatoes, sugar beet and cotton.

Source: FCI

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