The continuous pressure on food production due to population growth and awareness of the need to practice ecologically safe methods of food production will require the development of new insecticides that allow the practice of sustainable agriculture. This fact highlights the importance of exploitation of new niches with potential for production of bioactive natural molecules that can be used in pest management systems to promote agricultural productivity, with a minimal risk to non-target organisms and the environment. Due to the unexplored potential of insect-associated symbiotic bacteria, the diversity and variety of habitats to which insects are associated, these microorganisms have been shown as a promising source for the search for new compounds with distinct biological activities and/or the development of strategies for pest management. Thus, the systemic approach we propose for the exploitation of potential organisms using molecular tools is an alternative to accelerate the identification of new molecules and to improve the fermentation methods for the maximization of metabolite production. In this project, we propose to combine classic and modern methods to identify the genes/pathways involved in the production of active metabolites by previously isolated and tested insect-associated actinobacteria, as well as to understand the biosynthesis of these compounds and to explore new insecticides.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: