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Secondary Metabolites of Fungi for Pesticides


Biotechnology of Secondary Metabolites of Fungi as Resources for the Development of New Pesticides

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-PPR/Plant Protection/Agriculture
  • BIO-CHM/Biochemistry/Biotechnology
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Biology and Pedology, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek


  • University of Guelph / College of Biological Science, Canada, ON, Guelph

Project summary

The goal of the work: To find out new substances having strong insecticide and herbicide activity for the most hazardous pests and perennial weeds that are difficult to eradicate.

The problem of the development of ecologically safe pesticides with new mechanisms of action is very urgent. The main reasons for that are as follows: first, the appearance of pest forms resistant to permitted pesticides, second, the strict requirements to the pesticides applied in terms of their safety for people and the environment. The microbiological method of plant protection could become an alternative to the chemical method, but biopesticides consist of live organisms whose properties are unstable and their effectiveness depends on external conditions. That is why the attention of researchers has been increasingly attracted by a compromise option: the isolation and characterization of pathogenicity factors of biocontrol agents, mainly toxins, in order to create new pesticides on their chemical basis. Thus, the study of natural substances with insecticidal or herbicidal activity has great prospects. The known spectrum of the fungi species producing biologically active substances (BAS) of this type is yet very narrow. Therefore, the search for new BAS producers and the study of their properties are very topical.

In order to attain the goal set it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

  1. Search for phytopathogenic fungi of weeds from different ecological zones of Kyrgyzstan.
  2. Search for entomopathogenic fungi from different ecological zones of Kyrgyzstan.
  3. Determination of the toxicity of the active strains of entomopathogenic and phytopathogenic fungi under laboratory conditions and the isolation of toxins responsible for biological activity.
  4. Physico-chemical characteristics of new fungal phyto- and entomotoxic metabolites, the structure and mechanism of the action of purified substances.
  5. Scaling up production of fungal isolates with sufficient herbicical and insecticidal activity and extraction of secondary metabolites for further testing.
  6. Testing of identified fungal secondary metabolites with herbicidal and insecticidal activity on agriculturally important crops.

Expected Results and Their Application

In the process of work in the first two years of studies intensive research aimed at searching for phytopathogenic and entomopathogenic fungi will be carried out; new fungal isolates will be isolated, characterized and identified. The collection of the fungi of weeds and pest insects will be supplemented with these isolates. A preliminary selection of fungi with insecticidal and herbicidal activity will be done.

In the second year we plan to continue the research to optimize the cultivation conditions of active isolates of entomopathogenic and phytopathogenic fungi, to perfect the methods of fungi cultivation and the ways of obtaining extracts, the screening and testing of fungal extracts, the study of physico-chemical properties.

In the third year we propose to carry out the purification of fractions, the scale-up and laboratory testing of pilot lots of toxins of promising fungi on target harmful organisms.

The experimental data will be analyzed and a scientific justification for the prospects of the application, at an industrial level, of the isolated cultures and the biologically active substances of entomopathogenic and phytopathogenic fungi will be prepared. We have already been in contact with some industrial producers, namely Association of Seed Growers of Kyrgyzstan and “Dostuk Int. LTD”, who expressed interest in further development, production and commercialization of any promising products coming from this project.

The scientific research group, consisting of mycologists, phytopathologists, parasitologists, microbiologists, nematologists, entomologists, flora specialists, biotechnology specialists, proposes to join their complementary expertise in efforts to search for new secondary metabolites of phytopathogenic and entomopathogenic fungi having herbicidal and insecticidal activity and to create plant protection preparations on the basis of their studies.

Thus, the implementation of this project will enable “weapon” scientists and specialists of Kyrgyzstan, in close cooperation with colleagues from other countries, having re-orientated their capabilities to peaceful activity, to develop advanced technologies for the production of ecologically safe pesticides on the basis of mycotoxins. Besides, the project promotes the solution of the problems of protecting the environment from contamination with chemical pesticides and the protection of plants from pests and weeds both in Kyrgyzstan and in the entire world.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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