Scientists are developing insecticides based on spider venom

Employees of the Novosibirsk State Agrarian University (NSAU) and the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences are developing plant protection products based on spider venom, said Ivan Dubovsky, head of the NSAU biological plant protection laboratory.

“We are working with the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, we get the poison, they separate it into components, then these components are used to protect plants. This is a promising direction for the creation of bioinsecticides,” Ivan Dubovsky said.

The procedure for collecting poison is as follows: the spider is put to sleep with carbon dioxide, then an electric discharge is applied, the spider releases poison, then wakes up and begins to accumulate it again. In particular, work is being done with large predatory tarantula spiders.

“We have up to 50 species of spiders, we study the least studied ones, because there are spiders whose poison has already been deciphered,” Ivan Dubovsky noted.

According to his statement, for the manufacture of bioinsecticides based on spider venom, modified bacteria are used, which produce it in the required quantities.

“You can’t get enough spiders,” Ivan Dubrovsky emphasized.

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