With pesticide resistance rising, crop scientists look to CRISPR, bacteria for solutions

|

Resistance to conventional pesticides — among insects, weeds or microbial pathogens — is common on farms worldwide. CropLife International, an industry association based in Brussels, supports efforts that have counted 586 arthropod species, 235 fungi and 252 weeds with resistance to at least one synthetic pesticide….

For several decades, the agrochemical industry has simply rolled out new chemicals to replace the old ones. But for many crops, the pipeline is drying up. … New chemicals are difficult and expensive to find and develop. And once one is in use, pests will soon develop resistance to it, unless its application is carefully managed.

So scientists are pursuing alternatives that may reduce or replace synthetic pesticides. They are particularly interested in biological solutions, including microbes, genetic engineering and biomolecules. Even major chemical companies see enough promise to invest in the work. That doesn’t spell the end of synthetic pesticides, but it could help to slow the spread of resistance. Some approaches might also help farmers to reduce costs, protect workers and please a public that is increasingly wary of synthetic chemicals.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers