Fighting the global pest problem: Preface to the special Toxicon issue on insecticidal toxins and their potential for insect pest control

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Journal Article
Toxicon, 2007, 49 (4), pp. 413 - 422
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Arthropod pests are responsible for major crop devastation and are vectors for the transmission of new and re-emerging diseases in humans and livestock. Despite many years of effective control by conventional agrochemical insecticides, a number of factors are threatening the effectiveness and continued use of these agents. These include the development of insecticide resistance and use-cancellation or de-registration of some insecticides due to human health and environmental concerns. Several approaches are being investigated for the design of new (bio)pesticides. These include the development of transgenic plants and recombinant baculoviruses as delivery systems for a variety of insect-selective toxins. Additional approaches for the development of foliar sprays include the rational design of peptidomimetics based on the key residues of these toxins that interact with the insect target. This special issue provides an overview of these phyletically selective animal, plant and microbial toxins and their diverse mechanisms of action to paralyze or kill arthropods. In addition, it reviews their potential for biopesticide discovery and validation of novel insecticide targets and provides an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of biopesticides in the global control of arthropod pests. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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