Encapsulation Strategies for Bacillus thuringiensis: From Now to the Future

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Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been recognized for its high potential in the control of various agricultural pests. Developments in micro/nanotechnology have opened new perspectives for the production of more efficient formulations that can overcome some obstacles associated with its use in the field, such as formulation instability and loss of activity as a result of the degradation of pesticidal protein by its exposure to ultraviolet radiation, among other problems. This review describes current studies and recent discoveries related to Bt and processes for the encapsulation of Bt derivatives, such as Cry pesticidal proteins. Different techniques are described, such as extrusion, emulsion, spray drying, spray cooling, fluidized bed, lyophilization, coacervation, and electrospraying to obtain micro- and nanoparticulate systems. It is noteworthy that products based on microorganisms present less risk to the environment and non-target organisms. However, systematic risk assessment studies of these new Bt biopesticides are necessary, considering issues, such as interactions with other organisms, the formation of toxic secondary metabolites, or the interspecific transfer of genetic material. Given the great potential of these new formulations, a critical assessment is provided for their future use, considering the technological challenges that must be overcome to achieve their large-scale production for efficient agricultural use.



Bacillus thuringiensis, biological control, microbial control, microparticles, nanoparticles, nanotechnology

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.