Delivery methods for peptide and protein toxins in insect control

Paul A. Whetstone, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Since the introduction of DDT in the 1940s, arthropod pest control has relied heavily upon chemical insecticides. However, the development of insect resistance, an increased awareness of the real and perceived environmental and health impacts of these chemicals, and the need for systems with a smaller environmental footprint has stimulated the search for new insecticidal compounds, novel molecular targets, and alternative control methods. In recent decades a variety of biocontrol methods employing peptidic or proteinaceous insect-specific toxins derived from microbes, plants and animals have been examined in the laboratory and field with varying results. Among the many interdependent factors involved with the production of a cost-effective pesticide-production expense, kill efficiency, environmental persistence, pest-specificity, pest resistance-development, public perception and ease of delivery-sprayable biopesticides have not yet found equal competitive footing with chemical counterparts. However, while protein/peptide-based biopesticides continue to have limitations, advances in the technology, particularly of genetically modified organisms as biopesticidal delivery systems, has continually progressed. This review highlights the varieties of delivery methods currently practiced, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-596
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007


  • Arthropod
  • Delivery
  • Peptide
  • Pesticide
  • Toxin
  • Venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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