Answer the following.
Explain the importance of biopesticides in or ganic farming.
Biopesticide is a term used for bacterial and fungal toxins which can be used to destroy pests/pathogens/insects and can be directly integrated into the plants. The special characteristics of biopesticide is that they do not harm the plant or other organisms except its target organism. Some of the examples of biopesticides are-
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is used to control butterfly caterpillars. This bacterium is available in sachets as dried spores, which are sprayed on the crops. The spores get into the gut of the larvae and kill it while the other insects remain unperturbed.
By methods of genetic engineering, the genes of B. thuringiensis responsible for killing the larvae have been incorporated into the plants. Cotton plant with Bt gene incorporated is called Bt-cotton.
The fungus Trichoderma living in roots of plants acts as a biocontrol agent against several plant pathogens.
- Baculoviruses, particularly genus Nucleopolyhedrovirus are also used as narrow spectrum insecticidal agents.