From the Desk of Dr. Lalitha,
(Plant Pathologist and Microbiologist)
A Threat to Food Crops
Steve Connor, Science Editor, in his 2008 issue (Nature, Environment-The Independent pp 1-4) highlighted the Insect Explosion: A threat to food crops. Researchers found that the number of leaf-eating insects are likely to surge as a result of rising levels of CO2. Scientists believe that insects had to eat more because of the rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere making leaves less nutritious because they contained relatively smaller concentrations of nitrogen. With more CO2 available to plants, photosynthesis is easier and plants can make the same amount of food for themselves without putting so much protein in their leaves. Consequently, when CO2 increases, leaves have less protein and insects need to eat more to acquire the nutrients they need. Plants can grow faster, but they also suffer disproportionate damage due to insects.
Bio Soil Enhancers (BSE) produces SumaGrow, an innovative, multifunctional polymicrobial formula that substantially enhances productivity in a broad spectrum of crops. BSE is also developing a new bio-insecticide, SumaGrow-Bt, which prevents a broad spectrum of leaf damaging insects. Unlike most commonly used chemical pesticides, the product is completely organic and environmentally friendly. The product contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is well documented to have pesticidal properties covering a broad range of pests. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a Gram-positive, naturally occurring soil bacterium that is hardy because it produces endospores that are resistant to adverse environmental conditions. This product is designed for use as a liquid spray on crop plants. Alternatively, the toxin may be extracted and itself used as a pesticide. It is well known that spores and crystalline insecticidal proteins produced by B. thuringiensis can also be used to control insect pests. Bio-pesticides similar to SumaGrow- Bt are highly desirable because they are environmentally friendly and nonhazardous to humans, wildlife, pollinators, and beneficial insects.