Chemical study of insect-plant interactions: a contribution to biorational control of crop pests

New solutions for managing insect pests are urgently needed due to evolution of resistance to current insecticides. This project focuses on development and bioactivity testing of novel nanotech formulations of plant secondary metabolites that could provide new options for crop protection. The Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) group has strong preliminary data showing that nanotech formulations of certain plant flavonoids complexed with Mg (II) substantially reduce growth of insects. Preliminary experiments done by the Keele University (KU) group with PAA (poly(allylamine)) nanotech formulations of essential oils have shown highly significant repellent action, with greatly enhanced activity compared to conventionally formulated material.