A new range of natural insecticides is being made from a bacterium protein. It acts like a poison and can be transformed into a new poison-range for killing insects. And these bacteria harbour inside the intestine of nematode worms, and thus can infect and kill insect pests.
This natural insecticide is discovered by researchers at the University of Warwick. These bacteria use a protein (XptA1), which is a toxin that helps the nematode kill and feed on the dead body of the insect.
Along with killing target insect, the toxin also prevents other predators from eating the body helping the nematode worms consume it, multiply and move on.
Dr Sarah Lee from the University of Warwick said,
This research gives us crucial new insights into a family of naturally occurring proteins that are toxic to a number of insect pests. They offer an alternative to current commercial protein based insect toxins have been in use for 40 years and are now starting to meet some resistance. This potential new family of protein based insecticides would overcome such resistance as they operate in an entirely different way.