Evaluation of Suncor Experimental Photodynamic Insecticides

Insect pests can cause substantial losses in crop yield and livestock. Conventional insecticides have lost efficacy due to insect resistance and have negative impacts on humans, animal health and the environment. There is a great need for effective insecticides that can provide solutions to these problems and that are compatible with sustainable approaches in agriculture
The proposed research will investigate the insecticidal activity of experimental photodynamic insecticides developed by Suncor Energy Inc. against agricultural insect pests. Photodynamic insecticides are activated by visible wavelengths of light to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can cause cell damage leading to insect death. Bioassays targeting several insect species at various developmental stages will be developed to assess mortality or feeding deterrence through contact or ingestion of the products. Assays will be used to screen new photosensitizer formulations from Suncor. The research will validate the efficacy of the novel photodynamic insecticides which will contribute to the development of new environmentally-friendly insecticides in agriculture.

Faculty Supervisor:

Rose Buitenhuis


Zelda Pieterse


Suncor Energy Inc


Environmental sciences



University of Guelph


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