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Identifying novel insecticides and their targets: probing Australian arachnid venoms

Funding: 2005: $80,000
2006: $80,000
2007: $80,000

Project Member(s): Valenzuela, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (Other funds for ARC projects)
Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2005

Summary: Insecticidal toxins have great potential as novel biopesticides to combat the evolution of widespread insect resistance to chemical pesticides. This problem is increasing in Australia and internationally in both agricultural pests and insect vectors of disease. This study aims to discover and characterise insect-specific peptide neurotoxins from Australian arachnid venoms and to determine novel insecticide targets. We will isolate new neurotoxins, determine their 3D structures, and further investigate these and other similar toxin s structure-function relationships by electrophysiological methods. Mapping the critical residues of these toxins will provide templates for a rational insecticide design of small non-peptide molecules


Herzig, V, De Araujo, AD, Greenwood, KP, Chin, YK-Y, Windley, MJ, Chong, Y, Muttenthaler, M, Mobli, M, Audsley, N, Nicholson, GM, Alewood, PF & King, GF 2018, 'Evaluation of Chemical Strategies for Improving the Stability and Oral Toxicity of Insecticidal Peptides', Biomedicines, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 90-90.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: Toxins, Ion channels, Arachnids, Insecticide, Protein structure, Venom,

FOR Codes: Toxicology (incl. Clinical Toxicology), Protein Targeting and Signal Transduction, Invertebrate Biology, Agricultural chemicals, Disease distribution and transmission, Control of pests and exotic species, Signal Transduction, Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response), Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments, Management of Gaseous Waste from Manufacturing Activities (excl. Greenhouse Gases), Invertebrate biology , Toxicology (incl. clinical toxicology) , Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments