The agricultural practices have caused an environmental imbalance by expanding and modifying the ecological niche of certain species, especially invertebrates, which some of them are now considered as pests. The main objectives of our group are the sustainability of current technologies for their control, as well as the development of novel methods lowering the impact on human health and the environment. We are running several research projects to help designing a better and safer control of economically important pests. We are developing new biopesticides based on the entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and also on several families of virus that show high specificity against certain pest species. These are the cornerstone of many Biological Control programs and they can be easily integrated with other control measures in an IPM context. We are also investigating the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interaction of pests with their pathogens and the evolution of resistance to pesticides. It is very important to elucidate the keys for this dynamic process to design strategies that prevent, or at least delay, this phenomenon that causes important losses in food production worldwide.

 
 

Understanding of the mechanisms by which B. thuringiensis toxins work, and by which insects can develop resistance to them.
 

Discovery, engineering and development of novel bacterial and viral agents to be used as bioinsecticides for the control insect pests.
 
 

Understanding the mechanism underlying the interaction of Lepidoptera with bacterial and viral pathogens to develop novel strategies in pest control.
 

Investigating the molecular determinants for resistance evolution and selectivity of pesticides to promote the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.
 

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