Microbial-derived biopesticides for resource-friendly farming
Based on our long-standing experience in agro-environmental systems facing a changing environment, including soil, plants and atmosphere, we address pressing fundamental and applied research questions supporting future food-security and safety and the sustainable use of resources. We are interested in collaborations targeting the development of alternative pest management in agricultural and horticultural systems, with a specific focus on the development, validation, and formulation of microbial-derived biopesticides. This is supported by our long-standing experience in multi-trophic interactions in plant protection, focused on sap-sucking insects like whiteflies as vector of quarantine plant pathogens in our biosafety level laboratories.
We have several bioactive molecules leads to be tested and incorporated into biopesticide formulations. All activities benefit by several molecular technologies and approaches. The competences of our group members ranging from crop and soil scientists, molecular plant pathologists and entomologists, climatologists, biotechnologists as well as a team of highly motivated technicians. Our experiments are covering the whole chain from the development at lab scale via biodiscovery and greenhouse experiments up to open field validations.
The group possesses well-equipped laboratories that provide a perfect infrastructure for research projects. Our entomological facilities of nearly 60 m2 are equipped with automatic, remote-controlled climate chambers for varying temperature, light intensity and spectrum, humidity, and CO2 levels to investigate the effect of climate change on arthropod-plant interactions. Additionally, our labs are offering workbenches, fume hoods, microscopes, and a fully equipped electropenetrograph. A quarantine laboratory (Level S3) was established to investigate pathogen-vector interactions. The group runs a biosafety Level III laboratory for studying plant pathogens, equipped with fumehood, separate filter systems, incubators as well as a desk autoclave. LIST is also involved in bioprocess development focused on the design, development, and implementation of biomanufacturing schemes, with emphasis on microbial bioactives and separation technology. In addition, a soil laboratory is fully equipped to allow the classification and identification of soil samples, especially mineralogical analysis and mechanical testing. Additionally, chemical analysis is possible in the laboratories of the Chemical Analysis Platform.