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Novel biocontrol agents for insect pests from neuroendocrinology

Objective

Insects are the most diverse Class of life on earth, and different insects can be essential for, or highly damaging to, agriculture, horticulture and forestry. There is a pressing need, not just for new insecticides to combat resistance, but more specific, “greener” insecticides that target deleterious insects while sparing beneficial ones. This proposal aims to identify such insecticides by turning the insects’ own hormones against them, both by designing artificial neuropeptide “mimetic” analogs as candidate compounds, and by generating transgenic insects that carry deleterious neuropeptide payloads within them, that can propagate through a population and impact on survival at times of stress.

We have assembled an international multi-actor consortium from EU member and associated member states, as well as a third country partner, with unparalleled experience in insect functional genomics, neuropeptide physiology, synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology, and in field-testing of candidates. Established links to agricultural, horticultural and forestry end-users, agencies/advisors and our SME partners ensure relevance to user need; and set out a pathway to exploitation and implementation of our results, for impact across three major economic sectors in the EU and globally.

We will deliver novel, ‘green’ neuropeptide-based insect pest biocontrol tools by:
• utilising ‘beyond the State-of-the-Art’ technologies based on two approaches: rational design of neuropeptide hormone analogues; and development of genetically-encoded neuropeptides for translational insect synthetic biology in genetic pest management.
• bridging outstanding research and technology in neuroendocrinology and genetics to end user need, to ultimately produce neuropeptide hormone analogues and genetic pest management biocontrol tools.
• validating and demonstrating these novel insect biocontrol agents in laboratory, field and forest applications, based on user need and a market-driven approach.

Call for proposal

H2020-SFS-2014-2
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
Address
University Avenue
G12 8QQ Glasgow
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 318 875

Participants (13)

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 530 000
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 511 625
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ORGANISATION OF ISRAEL - THE VOLCANI CENTRE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 679 687,50
Address
Derech Hamcabim 68
50250 Bet Dagan
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
STOCKHOLMS UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 378 406
Address
Universitetsvagen 10
10691 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 442 500
Address
Albertus Magnus Platz
50931 Koeln
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 341 278,50
Address
Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 62 031
Address
St Andrews House, Regent Road
EH1 3DG Edinburgh
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
FORESTRY COMMISSION RESEARCH AGENCY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 176 481
Address
Alice Holt Lodge
GU10 4LH Farnham
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
South Africa
EU contribution
€ 62 500
Address
Private Bag X3
7701 Rondebosch
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BRUKER DALTONIK GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 438 375
Address
Fahrenheitstrasse 4
28359 Bremen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
THE PIRBRIGHT INSTITUTE LBG
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 719 860
Address
Ash Road Pirbright
GU24 0NF Woking
Activity type
Research Organisations
Oxitec Limited
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 245 933,50
Address
Miton Park 71
OX14 4RX Oxford
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER NETWORK LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 87 500
Address
52 Upper Street Suite 218 Business Design Centre Islington
N1 0QH London
Activity type
Other