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Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

Microbial insecticides in Iran: History, current status, challenges and perspective

Javad Karimi, Surendra K.Dara, Steven Arthurs

Biocontrol and Insect Pathology Laboratory, Department of Plant Protection, School of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Biological control programs with arthropods have been in practice in Iran since the 1930s. However, development and registration of microbial biopesticides is much more recent. Currently, about 15 biopesticide products are registered or pending registration for commercial use on various crops. Products based on Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstakiare most widely sold for lepidopteran pest control, followed by B. thuringiensis subsp. isralensis against dipteran pests in vector control programs. Additionally, mycoinsecticides based on Lecanicillium lecanii and Beauveria bassiana, against various arthropod pests, and a mycofungicide based on Trichoderma harzianum for controlling soilborne diseases are also registered. In Iran, the national Plant Protection Organization (PPO) manages regulation of microbial pesticides and the Pesticide Supervision Board within the PPO oversees registration of all pesticides. Currently, two Iranian companies produce microbial pesticides and two more companies are approved to start production in the near future. We review the history of microbial control of arthropod pests in Iran with examples of sustainable agricultural practices, the current status of the market and registration procedures for microbial pesticides, along with the challenges and opportunities for the advancement of microbial control in Iran.

Keywords: Biopesticides, Entomopathogens, Microbial control, Microbial pesticides.

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