University of California

Microorganisms and their byproducts, nematodes, oils and particle films have important agricultural uses


Larry D Godfrey
Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell
Harry K Kaya
William E Chaney

Authors Affiliations

L.D. Godfrey is Extension and Research Entomologist, Department of Entomology, UC Davis; E.E. Grafton-Cardwell is Extension and Research Entomologist, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside; H.K. Kaya is Professor, Departments of Nematology and Entomology, UC Davis; and W.E. Chaney is Entomology Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 59(1):35-40. DOI:10.3733/ca.v059n01p35. January 2005.

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The insect and mite control potential of natural and biological toxins has been recognized for several centuries. Bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi are the primary groups of microorganisms known to reduce insect populations; they often occur naturally in fields and function as components of biological control. Beneficial nematodes are also being used for pest control, especially against soil insects. The isolation of toxic metabolic compounds from microorganisms continues to be a fruitful research area, although there are barriers to their successful marketing and distribution. Another, more controversial way to deliver these insect-specific toxins to the target pest is through genetically modified plants, such as those modified to express Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins. Oils and particle films also have important niche uses for pest control.


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Godfrey L, Grafton-Cardwell E, Kaya H, Chaney W. 2005. Microorganisms and their byproducts, nematodes, oils and particle films have important agricultural uses. Hilgardia 59(1):35-40. DOI:10.3733/ca.v059n01p35
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