BtBooster as a Biopesticide Potentiator
Small Business Information
425 River Rd., Athens, GA, 30602
AbstractInsecticidal efficacy is a major insecticide market driver. In 2004, InsectiGen" announced a scientific breakthrough, BtBooster", a new technology that enhances the performance of the leading biopesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). BtBooster" is a peptide obtained from a cadherin-like protein of Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) and has no known or predicted toxicity to living organisms. It has no homology to any toxins. Yet BtBooster" can synergize the potency of existing Bt toxins and has potential as an additive to current Bt biopesticides. Ongoing Phase I research has demonstrated that BtBooster" enhances commercial Bt formulations on plants and overcomes Bt resistance in a Bt-resistant strain of Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth). Proposed Phase II research has three objectives: (1) conduct field trials to determine BtBooster" efficacy with commercially important crops, insect pests, and commercial Bt formulations, (2) evaluate the economic feasibility of BtBooster" as a Bt adjuvant, and (3) develop initial data for the EPA regulatory package. This research will move BtBooster" from laboratory and greenhouse bioassays to field trials, and take a long step toward developing a commercial product. We envision that it will broaden the opportunities for Bt-based insect control by overcoming limitations in Bt biopesticides.
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