Every year an estimated 10-16% of global food production is lost to agricultural pests despite tremendous improvement in management practices over the years. The intensive use of synthetic pesticides and its dependency in controlling crop pests pose a risk of pesticide resistance; moreover, it has been very challenging to produce resistant cultivars for different crops and to discover new mode of action (MOA) active ingredients. The discovery of microbial-based pesticides that can effectively control major agricultural pests including plant diseases, insects, weeds, and nematodes will result not only in alternative management strategies, but also reduction of the high risk of pesticide resistance. At AgBiome, our mission is to partner with the microbial world for human benefit, and discover unique microbes with activity against major agricultural pests. We have built a core collection of fully sequenced microbes from diverse environments and employ both the microbes and their sequences in the discovery of new biological products for the control of diseases, insects, weeds, and nematodes. The identification of biological products with high efficacy against crop pests will provide a valuable alternative to synthetic pesticides and play a useful role in Integrated Pest Management programs.
Audience Take Away:
- Microbial-based pesticides have an important role in agriculture
- The discovery process and genomics- and machine learning-accelerated discovery of biocontrol microorganisms
- Role of Microbial-based pesticides in pesticide resistance management, reduction of synthetic pesticide dependency, and Integrated Pest Management