Novel insecticidal neurotoxins from Australian spider venoms [ 2003 - 2004 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers A/Prof GM Nicholson Dr WC Hodgson A/Prof KW Broady Prof GF King

Brief description Insecticidal toxins have considerable potential as novel biopesticides to combat the evolution of widespread insect resistance to classical chemical pesticides. This problem is increasing both in Australia and internationally. This study aims to isolate and pharmacologically characterise potent and selective insecticidal neurotoxins from Australian arachnids. Our laboratories will isolate neurotoxins from spider venoms, determine their selectivity in insect and mammal bioassays, determine their primary and tertiary structures, and investigate their structure-function relationships by electrophysiological techniques. These functional and structural data will allow the future engineering, by molecular or synthetic procedures, of viral biopesticide analogues with increased potency, stability and selectivity.

Funding Amount $135,000

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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