Track your Manuscript
Enter Correct Manuscript Reference Number:
Get Details
Top Editors

Dr. Nanjappaiah H. M.
Assoc. Prof. Dept. of Pharmacology BLDEA’s SSM College of Pharmacy & Research Centre Vijayapur – 586103, Karnataka, India

Dr. Shek Saleem Babu
English Language and Literature, English Language Teaching, and Poetry, IIIT, RGUKT, Nuzvid, Krishna Dt. AP, India

Dinh Tran Ngoc Huy
Bank for Investment and Development of VietNam (BIDV)

Dr. Abd El-Aleem Saad Soliman Desoky
Professor Assistant of Agricultural Zoology, Plant Protection Department Faculty of Agriculture, Sohag University - Egypt

Prof. Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Ahmed Elnashar, Ph.D.
Full-Professor of Textiles &Apparel, Faculty of Specific Education, Kaferelsheikh, University, Egypt
Top Reviewers

Dr. Shabnum Musaddiq
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India, 524003

Dr. Biman Kumar Panigrahi
Associate professor, Seemanta Instt. of Pharma. Scs., Jharpokharia, Odisha, 757086, India

Efanga, Udeme Okon
Finance, Accounting and Economics, niversity of Calabar, Nigeria

Aransi Waliyi Olayemi
Department of Adult Education, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Why Us
Open Access
Rapid publication
Lifetime hosting
Free indexing service
Free promotion service
More citations
Search engine friendly
Go Back       Himalayan Journal of Agriculture | Volume :3 Issue:2 | March 31, 2022
41 Downloads115 Views

DOI : 10.47310/Hja.2022.v03i02.003       Download PDF       HTML       XML

Biopesticides and the Future of Food Safety

Adedoyin Adenugba1 and S O Fapohunda*2

1Department of Microbiology, Babcock University, Ilishan remo Nigeria

2Safe Food and Feed Foundation, Lagos Nigeria

*Corresponding Author

S O Fapohunda

Article History

Received: 05.03.2022

Accepted: 16.03.2022

Published: 31.03.2022

Abstract: The role of bio-pesticides in food security is discussed. Categories, applications and pros and cons of their usage are described This review paper highlights the update on role played by commercially available bio-pesticides with a focus on challenges and future acceptability in food and environmental safety.

Keywords: Bio-Pesticides, Chemical Pesticides, Food And Environmental Safety, Sustainable Development


One of the challenges Agriculture has had to face is the significant decrease in crop yields caused by the destructive activities of numerous pests like fungi, bacteria, insects and nematodes. Crop pest management in agriculture is important to safeguard crop yield and increase productivity (Kesho, 2020). Pesticides have been the most effective weapons and play significant role in crop protection against agricultural insect-pests. With the introduction of conventional chemical pesticides, this issue was resolved to a great extent by enhancing food production but it has also negatively affected the environment and organisms target (Jhala et al.,2020). The over dependence on chemical pesticides and eventual uninhibited use of them has necessitated the need for alternatives that are environmental friendly (Suman and Dikshit, 2010). Biopesticides integrate naturally occuring substances that helps in controlling pest in an eco-friendly, non-toxic manner. Biopesticides also known as biological pesticides with the formulations derived from natural materials such as bacteria, animals, plants, minerals and also from living microbes such as fungi, bacteria, viruses proffer powerful eco-friendly tools to create a new generation of feasible agricultural products (Khan, 2021). Biological control using natural enemies through classical, augmentative, and conservation strategies is a significant IPM tool providing a more environmentally alternative to chemical pesticides (Falahzadah et al., 2020). Natural pesticides are pesticides made by other organisms usually for their own defense, they are derived from a natural source such as plant, animal, bacteria, and certain mineral. Natural pesticides or “reduced risk” pesticides are natural compounds that effectively control insect pests, with low toxicity to non-target organisms such as humans, animals and natural enemies and the environment (Oguh et al., 2019). They are considered to be the best alternative to synthetic pesticides that are highly effective, target specific and reduce environmental risks. Biopesticides are compounds used to control agricultural pest employing specific biological effects rather than broader chemical pesticides. They also refer to products that contain natural organisms or substances derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, or certain minerals that are used for controlling pests (Kumar, 2015). They proffer a unique opportunity to developing countries to survey and develop their own natural resources in crop protection (Leonard and Julius, 2000). Biopesticide is a pivotal component of integrated pest management programs (IPM) which has led to more natural alternatives that are environmentally friendly and safer as compared to chemical pesticides. The idea of integrated pest management (IPM), a reliable strategy for managing pests, has been effective for a long time (Dara, 2019). Several reports indicated that IPM implementation hang on innumerable factors including the level of education, economic and social conditions, environmental awareness, moral values, regulatory aspects, government policies, availability of IPM tools, extension education, consumer preference, and retail marketing (Parsa et al., 2014, Lefebvre et al., 2015, Jayasooriya and Aheeyar 2016, Rezaei et al., 2019). Compared with other conventional synthetic chemical pesticides, biopesticides are usually less toxic, and affect only the target pest and closely related organisms. Also, they are often effective when administered in small quantities. Biopesticides constitute less threat to the environment and to human health and are considered environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides. This unique class of bio-based intereventions, is produced by genetic incorporation of DNA into agricultural commodities to prevent damage from pests or diseases. These include biofungicides (Trichoderma), bioherbicides (Phytophthora) and bioinsecticides (Bacillus thuringiensis). In countries like India, biopesticides use, is yet to take off due to mixed restrictions, despite their vast market potential and the national and state initiative to develop them as alternatives to chemical pesticides (Villaverde et al., 2016). They are produced from substances that occur naturally that can control pests in an ecofriendly manner. They are gotten from animals such as nematodes, plants such as chrysanthemum, Azadirachta, microorganisms such as Bacillus thuringiensis, Trichoderma, and also they include living organisms. Generally, biopesticides, have little or no residual effects and are acceptable for use in organic farming. Their mode of action is unique and are regarded as reduced-risk pesticides. The major difficulties of new biopesticides in the growth and effective usage are how to market or elevate it (Tripathi et al., 2020) and how to boost the stability and residual action of biopesticide (Damalas and Koutroubas, 2018). The aim of this review is to outline the current status of biopesticides in pest control, challenges and future plan, in pest management.

Classes of Biopesticides

Biopesticides can be defined as natural products that contain natural organisms or substances derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, or certain minerals that are used for controlling pests. Biopesticides can be classified into three primary categories;

Microbial pesticides (MCP)

Microbial biopesticides are the largest group of pest-specific, broad-spectrum biopesticides. They are the operative component in microbial pesticides that act against specific insect pest (Cornelius et al., 2019). They are biological control agents that comprises one of many microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, or algae, they are genetically adapted for crop pest control. They are relatively precise for their target species (Rajamani and Negi, 2021). The most commonly used microbial biopesticides are living organisms, which are pathogenic and named based on pest of interest. These include biofungicides (Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, Bacillus) when used against crops fungal pathogen , bioherbicides (Phytophthora)when used against weeds, bionematicides when used against plant parasitic nematodes and bioinsecticides (Kumar, 2015)

Plant Incorporated Protectants (PIPs)

They are also called genetically modified plants that produce chemicals that act as protection against pest infestation. Plant-incorporated protectants are pesticidal substances produced by plants and the genetic material necessary for the plant to produce the substance are introduced into the plants to provide resistance against pests. Pesticidal proteins separated from the bacteria or fungi are introduced into the plant and the genetically modified plants resist against specific pest (Rajamani and Negi, 2021). A typical example through the process of genetic engineering is the use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein to develop PIP. PIPs are transgenetically engineered into crops using recombinant DNA technology to control pests (Parker and Sander, 2017).

Biochemical Pesticides (BCPs)

This class of biopesticides is obtained from naturally occurring living materials such as plant extracts or sex pheromones, fatty acids or that control or inactivate pests by non-toxic mechanisms. Biochemical pesticides include substances that interfere with mating, such as insect sex pheromones, as well as various scented plant extracts that attract insect pests to traps. BCPs majorly operate by interfering with the growth or reproduction of pests, thereby preventing damage to crops. Examples of plants or plant products used as biopesticides include, limonene and linalool, neem (Azadirachta indica), pyrethrum, pyrethrins, rotenone, and sabadilla. These biopesticides are used to prevent pests such as fleas, caterpillars, ants (Ivase et al., 2017).

Tab.1 Examples of biopesticides marketed by specialty and major crop protection companies








Spinosoids, spinosyns A and D


Merck and others

Anthelmintics, insecticides

Macrocyclic lactones

Serenade, Requiem, Sonata, Ballad

Bayer crop science

Insecticides, fungicides

Microbial strains and mixtures



Insect control via mating disruption; gustatory stimulation coupled with an insecticide

Pheromones, kairomones

Venerate, Grandevo, Majestene

Marrone Bio Innovations

Insecticides, acaricides, nematicides

Microbial strains and mixtures

PFR-97, CYD-X, Gemstar, etc.

Certis USA

Insecticides, miticides

Insecticidal microbes and viruses

(Seiber, et al., 2018)

Bacteria –based biopesticides

The most common form of microbial biopesticides are the Bacterial biopesticides that function in various ways. Basically, they are used as insecticides and they can be used in controlling growth of plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi. They are generally precise to independent species of moths and butterflies or species of beetles, flies, and mosquitoes. For it to be effective when used as an insecticide, they must come into contact with the target pest and afterwards they may be required to be ingested (Kachhawa, 2017). Bacterial pesticides are broadly classified into three categories;

1. Obligate pathogens: Special media under suitable conditions are required for growth, reproduction and sporulation of these pathogens. Most of these pathogens are spore formers. They are suitable for biological pest control programs. They have good stability. For example, Bacillus papillae and Bacillus lentimorbus cause milky disease in white grub populations.

  1. Facultative pathogens: Facultative pathogens are less virulent than the obligate pathogens. They do not require special conditions for growth, reproduction and sporulation. They have a wide host range and are spore formers. They are grouped into two categories, that is, crystalliferous and non-crystalliferous facultative pathogens.

  1. Potential pathogens: Potential pathogens can easily be cultured on artificial media and have a wide host range. It can infect insects even at small doses (<10,000 cells) and has a broad host range, e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa used against root-knot nematodes and Phyllophaga blanchardi used against coleopteran pests. Due to their non-spore foming ability this has limited them as promising biocontrol agents.

About 100 bacteria has been identified as exo- and endo-pathogens of arthropods. with only a few used commercially in pest management system (Table 1). Some commercially utilized bacteria include Bacillus popilliae, B. sphaericus, B. thuringiensis, Clostridium bifermentans, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, Pseudomonas aureofaciens, Saccharopolyspora spinosa, Serratia entomophila and Streptomyces avermitilis and they are all considered to be the major ones. However, the spore-forming soil bacterium B. thuringiensis (Bt) and the non-spore-forming S. entomophila gain more acceptance zas a pest control agents(chattopadhyay et al.,2017)

Table 2. Commercially available bacterial species with insecticidal activity

Bacterial sp.

Target pests

Effectors molecules


Subdivision: Firmicutes, Order: Bacillales

 B. popilliae

Japanese beetle grubs

Cry and Cyt toxins

Kaya et al., 2008

 B. sphaericus


Cry and Cyt toxins

El-Bendary 2006

 B.t. subsp. aizawai

Lepidopteran larvae

Cry and Cyt toxins

Soberón et al., 2012

 B.t. subsp. israelensis


Cry and Cyt toxins

Bravo et al., 2007

 B.t. subsp. kurstaki

Lepidopteran larvae

Cry and Cyt toxins

Bravo et al., 2007

 B.t. subsp. tenebrionis

Coleoptera pests

Cry and Cyt toxins

Bravo et al., 2007

Subdivision: Firmicutes, Order: Clostridiales

 C. bifermentans


Qureshi et al., 2014

Subdivision: Firmicutes, Order: Actinomycetales

 Saccharopolyspora spinosa

Two-spotted spider mites


Sparks et al., 2012

 Streptomyces avermitilis

Colorado potato beetle

Doramectin congeners

Wang et al., 2011a, 2011b

Subdivision: Gracilicutes, Order: Pseudomonadales

 P. alcaligenes

Locusts, grasshoppers

Insecticidal protein (Ppip)

Ruffner et al., 2015

 P. aureofaciens

Scrub, mildew

Insecticidal toxin (Fit)

Ruffner et al., 2015

Subdivision: Gracilicutes, Order: Enterobacteriales

 Serratia entomophila

New Zealand grass grub

sepA, sepB, sepC and Afp

Hurst et al., 2007

Source=Chattopadhyay et al., (2017)

Fungi-based bio pesticides

Some fungi like Beauveria bassiana, , Lecanicillium and Metarhizium spp., and Trichoderma spp. (a hyper-parasite of grape powdery mildew) are commercialized biocontrol agents; Many express advantages in conidia production and direct soil application. As they come ass either dry r liquid formulations.

Aspergillus flavus in an atoxigenic state has been commercially formulated to fight toxigenic strain in the control of aflatoxin in crops like cotton and groundnut and maize. AF34 and Aflasafe are products tried with considerable success in recent time. Aflasafe SN01 is reported to be the first biocontrol product approved for aflatoxin mitigation in Senegal and The Gambia( Senghor et al 2021). The name Aflasafe name is a Trademark of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, and Ghana are other counyties that have benefitted from this bio-pesticide by the IITA. Many other reports have proved the efficacy of fungal strains as outcompeting toxigenic strains(Chang et al 2012) In all of them fungus colonized grains are used as carriers of mostly dry formulations, making it easy and comfortable for

application in field. With this , toxin contamination is mitigated just as food safety is enhanced.

Farmers rely heavily on pesticides for the control of various weeds, insect pests and pathogens, leading to the high importation of these products. Although synthetic chemical pesticides can be used to control some pests economically, rapidly and effectively, most of them causing serious negative impacts to the ecosystem. Traditionally, Nigerian farmers have been relying heavily on pesticides for the control of various weeds, insect pests and diseases. Owing to recent intervention in agriculture by government, pesticides has becoming readily available and cheap leading to over usage, and thus, result in excess toxins been left in various products consumed by man leading to severe toxicity (Inyang and Asemota, 2015). In providing pest management tools in areas where pesticide resistance exists, niche markets and environmental concerns can limit the use of chemical pesticide products. Biopesticides are usually less toxic than conventional biopesticides. Biopesticides fit well into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. When properly used, they can greatly reduce the use of conventional pesticides, while promoting high crop yields because of effective pest control. On the negative side, biopesticides usually are more expensive than synthetic pesticides.

Current Status

Current research into biopesticides focuses on the improvement of their action spectra, including mechanisms to replace the use of chemical pesticides in IPM plans (Nawaz et al., 2016). IPM is a method to incorporate chemical, biological and physical methods for pest control.The application of biopesticides is still restricted in contrast with synthetic chemical pesticides due to the expensive production methods, poor storage stability, vulnerability to environmental conditions. Improvement of this formulation can solve some of the problems which has been successful in expanding and supporting biopesticide activity (Samada and Tambunan, 2020). In a country like India with an enormous diversity of plants, there is need to urgently recognize new biopesticides that can be used pest control. Commercialization exercise has been a major challenge in the development and use of new biopesticides in India. Farmers are unwilling to use the new products due to high cost and no practical experience (Tripathi, et al., 2020).


The world’s display and usage of biopesticides are growing at a swift pace. The delight in organic farming and pesticide residue free agricultural produce would make farmers embrace the utilization of biopesticides. For better advocacy of this technology, it may be essential for farmers to undergo trainings on production and also organizational training to extension workers may also be an added advantage to popularize biopesticides. Environmental protection is a major global challenge, so there is need for farmers, manufacturers, government agencies and policy makers need to be aware of the importance to turn to biopesticides for pest management pre-requisites.

Considering the empirical advantages of environmental acceptability and overall reduced safety concerns and productivity, capable of nullifying the perceived high cost, bio-pesticides are the attracting considerable agro -industrial suggesting a long term beneficial intervention of promise. This is seen in the recent embrace by some developing countries that are convinced about the brilliant future for bio-solutions as a reliable intervention in food and feed safety.


  1. Bravo, A., Gill, S., and Soberón, M.(2007). Mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry and Cytotoxins and their potential for insect control. Toxicol. 49:423–435.

  2. Chang, P. K., Abbas, H. K., Weaver, M. A., Ehrlich, K. C., Scharfenstein, L. L., and Cotty, P. J. 2012. Identification of genetic defects in the atoxigenic biocontrol strain Aspergillus flavus K49 reveals the presence of a competitive recombinant group in field populations. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 154:192-196.

  3. Chattopadhyay, P., Banerjee, G., & Mukherjee, S. (2017). Recent trends of modern bacterial insecticides for pest control practice in integrated crop management system. Biotech. 7(1): 60. doi: 10.1007/s13205-017-0717-6

  4. Cornelius, G., Lohiya, G., Sharma, R. (2019). Biopesticides: An Alternative Approach for Agricultural Output (Food) and Environmental Safety. International Journal of Engineering research & Technology 8(11).

  5. Dara, S.K. (2019). The New Integrated Pest Management Paradigm for the Modern Age. Journal of Integrated Pest Management 10(1):12.

  6. Damalas, C.A., & Koutroubas, S.D. (2018). Current status and recent developments in biopesticide use. Journal of Agriculture 8: 1-6.

  7. El-Bendary, M.A.(2006). Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus biopesticides production. Journal of Basic Microbiology. 46:158–170. doi: 10.1002/jobm.200510585.

  8. Falahzadah, M.H., Karimi, J. & Gaugler, R. (2020) Biological control chance and limitation within integrated pest management program in Afghanistan. Egyptian Journal of Biology Pest Control 30 (86).

  9. Inyang, I.J., & Asemota, E. (2015). The Nigerian challenge, benefits and applicability of biopesticides. A review. Journal of biopesticides and Environment 1: 109 -114.

  10. Jhala, J., Singh Baloda, A., & Singh Rajput, V. (2020). Role of bio-pesticides in recent trends of insect pest management: A review. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 9(1): 2237-2240.

  11. Ivase, T.J., Nyakuma, B.B., Ogenyi,B.U., Ba]logun,A.D., Hassan, M.N. (2017). Current status, challenges, and prospects of biopesticide utilization in Nigeria. Agriculture and Environment 9: 95-106.

  12. Jayasooriya, H. J. C.,& Aheeyar, M.M.M. (2016). Adoption and factors affecting on adoption of integrated pest management among vegetable farmers in Sri Lanka. Procedia Food Sci. 6: 208–212.

  13. Kachhawa, D. (2017). Microorganisms as a Biopesticides. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 5(3): 468-473.

  14. Kaya, H.K., Klein, M.G., and Burlando,T.M. (2008). Impact of Bacillus popilliae, Rickettsiella popilliae and entomopathogenic nematodes on a population of the scarabaeid, Cyclocephala hirta. Journal of Biocontrol Science and Technology 3:443–453. doi: 10.1080/09583159309355299.

  15. Kesho., A (2020).Microbial Bio-Pesticides and Their Use in Integrated Pest Management. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 5(1):26-34. https:// doi: 10.11648/j.cbe.20200501.15

  16. Khan, N.T. (2021). Biopesticides an Eco-Friendly Alternative Pest Control. Advances in Agricultural Technology & Plant Sciences 4(7): 180084.

  17. Kumar, S. (2015). Biopesticide: An Environment Friendly Pest Management Strategy. Journal of Biofertilizers & Biopesticides 6 (1): 127. DOI: 10.4172/2155-6202.1000e127.

  18. Lefebvre, M. ,Langrell, S. R. H. , and Gomez-y-Paloma., S. (2015). Incentives and policies for integrated pest management in Europe: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Developmentw 35: 27–45.

  19. Leonard, G.C., & Julius, J.M. (2000). Biopesticides: A review of their action, applications and efficacy. Pest management science 56(8): 1526 – 4998.

  20. Nawaz, M., Mabubu, J.I., and Hua, H. (2016). Current status and advancement of biopesticides: Microbial and botanical pesticides. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 4: 241-246.

  21. Oguh C. E., Okpaka C. O., Ubani C. S., Okekeaji U., Joseph P. S., & Amadi E. U. (2019).Natural Pesticides (Biopesticides) and Uses in Pest Management- A Critical Review Asian Journal of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering 2(3): 1-18.

  22. Parsa, S., S., Morse, A., Bonifacio, T. C. B. Chancellor, B., Condori, V.,CrespPérez, S. L. A.,Hobbs, J.,Kroschel, M. N.Ba, F.Rebaudo, et al., (2014). Obstacles to integrated pest management adoption in developing countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11: 38893894.

  23. Rajamani, M., & Negi, A.(2021). Biopesticides for pest management. Sustainable Bioeconomy : 239-266. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-7321-7-11.

  24. Rezaei, R., Safa, L., Damalas,A., and Ganjkhanloo, M. ( 2019.) Drivers of farmers’ intention to use integrated pest management: integrating theory of planned behavior and norm activation model. Journal of Environmental Management 236: 328–339.

  25. Samada, L. H. & Tambunan, U. S. F. (2020). Biopesticides as Promising Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides: A Review of Their Current and Future Status. Online Journal of Biological Sciences 20(2): 66-76.

  26. Seiber, J.N., Coats, J., Duke, S.O., & Gross, A.D. (2018). Pest management with biopesticides. Frontiers of Agricultural science and Engineering, 5(3): 295-300.

  27. Senghor, A L , A. Ortega-Beltran, J. Atehnkeng, P. Jarju, P. J. Cotty, and R. Bandyopadhyay (2021) Plant Disease 105(5)

  28. Soberón, M., López-Díaz, J.A., and Bravo, A. (2012). Cytotoxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis: a protein fold conserved in several pathogenic microorganisms. Peptides.41:87–93. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2012.05.023.

  29. Suman, G., & Dikshit, A. (2010). Biopesticides: An ecofriendly approach for pest control. Journal of Biopesticides 3(1): 186 – 188.

  30. Tripathi, Y.N., Divyanshu, K., Kumar, S., Jaiswal, L.K., & Khan,A. (2020). Biopesticides: Current Status and Future Prospects in India. In: Bioeconomy for Sustainable Development. International Journal 13: 978-981-13-9431-7, pp:79-109. v9.i5.2021.3930.

  31. Villaverde, J.J., Sandin-Espana, P., Sevilla-Moran,B., Lopez-Goti,C.,& Alonso-Prados,J.L. (2016). “Biopesticides from natural products: Current development, legislative framework, and future trends,” BioResources journal 11: 5618-5640.

Copyright © 2020 Inlight Publisher (IARCON INTERATIONAL LLP). All Rights Reserved.