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Insecticide neurotoxins from Australian mygalomorph spider venoms

Project Member(s): Nicholson, G.

Start year: 2001

Summary: Insecticidal toxins have considerable commercial potential as novel biopesticides due to the evolution of widespread insect resistance to classical chemical pesticides. This study aims to isolate and pharmacologically characterise potent and selective insecticidal neuraltoxins from Australian spiders which to date have received little scientific investigation. Our laboratories will isolate neurotoxins from spider venoms; detemine their selectivity in insect and mammal bioassays; investigate their function by electrophysiological techniques and determine their primary and tertiary structures. These functional and structural data will allow the future engineering, by molecular and synthetic procedures, of viral biopesticide analogues with increased potency, stability and selectivity.

Keywords: Toxins; Insecticide; Ion channels; Protein structure; Spider

FOR Codes: Pharmacology not elsewhere classified, Neurosciences not elsewhere classified, Protein Targeting and Signal Transduction, Health and support services not elsewhere classified, Biological sciences, Primary plant products not elsewhere classified, Pharmacogenomics, Protein Trafficking