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IBUN
Instituto de Biotecnología
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Biopesticides

We are trying to develop biological strategies for controlling insect plagues in crops having economic relevance for Colombia. Our programme has been designed for using entomopathogenous microorganisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) for developing and implementing agricultural biological products as an important part of integrated plague management (MIP) programmes in different Colombian agricultural lines.

We have developed activities placing special emphasis on using the microbiological diversity present in Colombian soils by prospecting, characterising and using native Bt strains for developing specific biopesticides for Colombia’s insect plagues.

Our strategy lies in isolating this bacterium’s native strains from soil samples or the cadavers of insects collected from different agricultural regions of Colombia or non-agricultural wild regions. Once the presence of a microorganism of interest has been determined, a deeper characterisation is carried out at biochemical and molecular level. In the case of Bt, this initially consisted of determining the protein profile of crystals associated with the bacteria during the sporulation stage by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), followed by genetic analysis using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique leading to determining the type of cry genes encoding the toxic proteins present in each native Bt strain.

Work was begun through the collaboration of entities such as the Corporación de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB) from Medellín, the National Cotton-farmers’ Federation (Federación Nacional de Algodoneros) and the Empresa Colombiana de Productos Veterinarios (VECOL).

  • Our programme has achieved recognition at international level and has established close links with other research groups in the area of bioinsecticides in countries such as Mexico (UNAM’s Instituto de Biotecnología and CINVESTAV), the USA (the University of California), Belgium (Aventis Crop Science), Costa Rica (Centro de Investigaciones en Biología Celular y Molecular), Brazil (EMBRAPA), Argentina (Instituto de Microbiologia y Zoología Agricultural). Links have been established at national level through research projects with research groups from different universities such as the Universidad de Los Andes, Javeriana, Distrital, UDCA and research centres such as CIB and CORPOICA.
  • We have developed formulation and production procedures for a biopesticide based on a Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) strain.
  • We have completely characterised more than 300 native isolates for forming IBUN’s Bacillus thuringiensis reference collection and have determined the toxic activity of isolates selected from the collection against insect plagues affecting different hot climate crops such as cotton, sorghum, corn and rice. Such insects (commonly known as corn ear/shoot worm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and Bollgard cotton worm (Heliothis virescens)) cause serious losses in production and yield in the aforementioned crops.
  • A Bacillus thuringiensis native strain was selected having great potential for developing a specific biopesticide for this plague by designing different formulation prototypes and which are currently being industrialised and registered with the competent authorities.


CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO, MARTÍNEZ, WILSON. Unión de proteínas de Bacillus thuringiensis con vesículas de las microvellosidades del tracto digestivo del gusano blanco de la papa Premnotrypes vorax (coleóptera: Curculionidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomología. Bogotá: v.30, n.1, p.51 - 56, 2004.
CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO, URIBE VÉLEZ, DANIEL, MARTÍNEZ, WILSON. Distribution and diversity of cry genes in native strains of Bacillus thuringiensis obtained from different ecosystems from Colombia. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. Estados Unidos: v.82, n.1, p.119 - 127, 2003.
MARTINEZ WILSON, URIBE DANIEL, CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO. Efecto tóxico de proteínas cry1 de Bacillus thuringiensis hacia Tecia solanivora Povolny (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomologia. Bogotá: v.29, n.1, p.89 - 93, 2003.
MARTÍNEZ, WILSON, CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO. Evaluación de la toxicidad de proteínas de Bacillus thuringiensis hacia el gusano blanco de la papa Premnotrypes vorax Hustache. Agronomía Colombiana. Bogotá: v.28, n.1-3, p.89 - 95, 2002.
CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO, MARTÍNEZ, WILSON. Obtención de vesículas de las microvellosidades del epitelio intestinal del gusano blanco de la papa Premnotrypes vorax Hustache. Revista Colombiana de Biotecnología. Bogotá: v.IV, n.2, p.33 - 37, 2002.
TORRES Y, BEJARANO S., URIBE D., CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO. Análisis de algunas características asociadas a la actividad bioinsecticida de poblaciones obtenidas por curado de plasmidos de la cepa de Bacillus thuringiensis IBUN 28.5. Revista Colombiana de Entomología. Bogotá: v.27, n.3-4, p.193 - 199, 2001.
RODRÍGUEZ M., URIBE D., TORRES L., ACOSTA A., CERÓN SALAMANCA, JAIRO ALONSO Diseño y evaluación de un método para determinar la actividad de cepas nativas de Bacillus thuringiensis sobre Spodotera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Revista Colombiana de Entomología. Bogotá: v.27, n.3-4, p.187 - 192, 2001.

Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Carrera 45 No 26-85 - Edificio Uriel Gutiérrez
Bogotá D.C. - Colombia