International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Sustainable Use of Biopesticides for the Management of Insects and its Diseases with Special Reference to Traditional Knowledge

Dr. K. Murugan

Department of Zoology, Bharathiar University, India

The sustainable use of medicinal plants known to the people of India need to be guided by an authentic botanical knowledge of the plant species, their natural distribution, the traditional knowledge of plants in different indigenous systems of medicine, and information on their trade and agriculture.

Traditional ecological knowledge is the product of generations of learning and experience with the lands, waters, fish, plants, wildlife, and other natural resources. The special feature of Ecology and Society on Traditional Knowledge in Social–Ecological Systems consists of 11 contributions, covering issues of conservation, ecosystem management, and governance in arctic, temperate, and tropical environments.  Hence, in the present investigations an attempt has been made to evaluate on the role of indigenous plants for the biopesticidal and medicinal uses.

India is the second largest manufacturer of pesticides in Asia, next only to China and ranks twelfth globally.  India’s spending on crop protection is the lowest in the world being $ 3 per hectare. Misuse of pesticides has resulted in havoc either to human life or crops or to the ecosystem.  It has been estimated that more than 1 million poisoning cases occur in the world annually with about 15,000 deaths. In developing countries, additional problems are a lack of understanding of their proper use, non-availability of suitable application equipment, inadequate storage conditions and high prices.

 In India, the use of chemical pesticides has been popularized for over five decades starting with the insecticides like DDT and BHC. Since, then we have long experience of using   a variety of group of pesticides belonging to organochlorine, organophosphorus, carbamate, synthetic pyrethroids, fumigants etc. Use of synthetic pesticides causes some unfortunate consequences such as environmental pollution, pests, resistance and toxicity to other non-target organisms including human beings. Moreover, India is a predominantly agriculture oriented country, with varied agro-climatic zones and problems thereon.  Insect pest continue to be major constraints to agricultural production and forestry as well as medical and veterinary science. The quality of pesticides also plays a significant role in the safety of the environment and in achieving optimum results of pest control. Viewing from the above background, there is an urgent need for developing biological pesticides from the plants, microbes and other living organismsrld around us is surrounded with biodiversity.

Most promising botanicals were to be found in the families Meliaceae, Rutaceae, Asteraceae, Annonaceae, Labiatae and Canellaceae. The Phytochemicals derived from plant sources, particularly neem, not only possess larvicidal activity but also are involved in many biological activities such as insect growth regulators, repellents, ovipositional attractants and deterrents, anti-feedants, inhibitors of growth and anti-reproductive agents on insects. Unlike ordinary insecticides, plant derived insecticides comprise an array of chemicals which act on both behavioral and physiological process of insects. In view of above fact, our ongoing research is mainly focusing on the Chemical ecology of insect plant interactions for the host plant resistance programme on the use of plant based pesticides for the management of  crop  pests and mosquito vectors and other non-target oransinms like, predatory, parasites, butterflies and honey bees. Our ongoing research is also focusing on the integrating neem molecules for the sustainable insect pest management. Neem is the only other plant, which has been the subject of significant commercialization. Plants in the family meilacease, especially, Azadirachta indica, contain at least 35 biologically active principles. Of the all insects that transmit diseases, mosquitoes represent by far, the greatest menace.  World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the mosquito “Public Enemy Number One” because mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of various dreadful diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases are major component of communicable diseases (malaria, filariasis, dengue and Japanese encephalitis) in India and in other Asian countries. Our recent research on the botanical pesticides combined will help to kill the spectrum of mosquito larvae in the breeding habitats, allelochemicals present in the botanicals affect the biochemical and physiological processes of insect system and nullify the resistance mechanism and also they increase the pathogenicity of microbial pesticides. The results of our study will throw more light on the right combination of plant extracts in conjunction with bacterial pesticides for the formulations potential of larvicide’s for their different mosquito vectors in their respective breeding habitats. It is interesting to note that the mosquitocidal plant, which we are using, is also posse’s water purifying properties. Our research group periodically visiting the endemic area of mosquito vectors and spraying of biolarvicides (developed by us) at local area and this kind of spray operation will help to the local community. This kind of social work has been extended to the recent Tsunami affected areas of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, India. Our biopesticidal formulations (botanicals and microbial pesticides) had been sprayed at water stagnant areas of Cesspool and ditches and contaminated streets of the villages of Tsunami Affected areas for the control of mosquito vectors of malaria, dengue fever etc.,
Many farmers in developing countries do not have the resources to purchase and apply expensive synthetic pesticides. Moreover, India is a nation of extraordinary diversity of plants and animals.  There will be good scope for identifying newer potential insecticidal for the development of newer biopesticides.

 Pesticide poisonings to wildlife may result from acute or chronic exposure. Additionally, pesticides may impact wildlife via secondary exposure or through indirect effects to the animal or its habitat.  Examples of acute wildlife poisoning include fish kills that are caused by pesticide residues carried to ponds, streams, or rivers by surface runoff or spray drift, and bird die-offs caused by foraging on pesticide-treated vegetation or insects, or by consumption of pesticide-treated granules, baits, or seeds.  Reducing pesticide use is one of the best ways to protect fish and wildlife resources. Seek the advice of wildlife, conservation, and pesticide professionals at universities, state and federal agencies, and private foundations for strategies to improve wildlife habitat and for advice on the use of pesticides and alternative pest control strategies.

Identification of Species and Habitats and Setting Priorities for Conservation
A comprehensive biological inventory of the state's endangered species and natural habitats is the first step toward their protection. Without this information, responsible management decisions cannot be made concerning the fauna and flora of an area. The Environmental Hazards Statement forewarns the user of potential adverse effects on wildlife and/or the environment which might result from the use of the product.

 Pesticide residue means "any substance or substances in food for humans or animals resulting from the use of pesticide". It also includes any specified derivatives, such as degradation and conversion products, metabolites and reaction products which are considered to be of toxicological significance. Butterflies and honey bees are function as sensitive indicators of environmental change they act as flagship species for nature conservation. Periodical survey, studies on habit, habitats and status. Bioindicators (Ecological changes: Temp. or Pollution etc.,), Suitable for ecological studies. The research outcome of this kind of project would enable us to bring “Nature Education and Interpretation programs” which aims at familiarizing visitors of butterfly garden with the educational awareness of nature, “ecotourism”. Research investigation leading to the identification of larval and adult host plants (nectar source/oviposition) and their influence on the growth, development and reproduction of each species of butterflies are of paramount importance not only for maintaining the butterfly garden as well as to go for in situ and ex situ conservation.

Hence, ecological monitoring on the effect of synthetic pesticides on non-target organisms such as predator and parasites and pollinators such as honey bees and butterflies are very important. Biological monitoring of pesticides on the environment, food and water was equally important.  Hence, in the present investigation an attempt has been to evaluate the comparative toxicity of synthetic pesticides, choropyriphos, and neem seed extract have tested against cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, malarial vector, Anopheles stephensi, predator beetle on aphids,  Hippodomia convergencs, and hymenopteran  parasitoid, Trichogramma chilonis,  butterfly, Pachliopta  hector and honey bee,  Apis dorsata. . Toxcity studies have been made on different insects, and relative toxicity (Lc 50 and LC 90) have also been worked out for the insects and other non-target organisms. Since, these kinds of studies are very much needed on the effects of the pesticides and bio-pesticides on target insects and other non-target organisms before putting into practical use.  Pesticides contaminations in the crop plants and flowering plants directly or indirectly affected by honey during foraging or contaminated pollen or nectar are further enter into the hives. Similarly, butterflies are also affected by contaminated soil by taking salts and it can be transferred to the female. So, biopesticides can be an alternative, and only biological pesticides will be effective and long lasting as compared with synthetic pesticides.  Moreover, the present paper discusses on the remedy of prolonged consumption of these toxic pesticides through food products pose serious implications on the health of human being and animals- and is also an attempt to focus on the attention of policy makers, plant protection agencies and other agencies, involved in the welfare of human and animal health, to the potential hazards pesticides, biopesticides, and biological controls will be documented. Other studies measure the interaction of pesticides with soils, air, sunlight, surface water, and ground water.

Hence, the exploitation of plant chemicals and microbial pesticides are not only used as mosquito vector control program and also facilitate to maintain the traditional knowledge for the betterment of people. Hence, the exploitation of plant chemicals and microbial pesticides are not only used as mosquito vector control program and also can be used for the control of mosquito transmitted diseases. Moreover, adopting this kind of strategy would facilitate us to go for ecofriendly pesticides for future. The urgent need is protect biodiversity: Biodiversity education is very important since there is still much to discover in nature. The protection of indigenous knowledge will ensure that we learn about nature benefits.


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