IPN studies molecules with potential biological activity against pests of tomato crops
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IPN studies molecules with potential biological activity against pests of tomato crops

• After various toxicological tests, it will be sought to apply such molecules in substitution of pesticides to protect crops and raise their added value

• The IPN has shown great research and discoveries for the benefit of the population: Delfina Gomez Alvarez

• IPN´s General Director, Arturo Reyes Sandoval, has highlighted the importance of research and its impact at national and international level

The tomato is the agricultural product of greater export in Mexico, therefore, the researcher of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN in spanish), Mariana Miranda Arambula, tests different molecules extracted from arvenses plants (weeds) with potential bactericidal, fungicidal and phytotoxic activity, which could be used to replace synthetic pesticides to protect crops of said fruit and improve their quality.

Public Education Minister, Delfina Gomez Alvarez, stressed that over time the IPN has shown great research and discoveries that have benefited the mexican population.

In turn, the IPN´s General Director, Arturo Reyes Sandoval, has stressed that research is important not only for the number of scientific publications, but for the impact they have at the national and international level.

The Master in Biotechnology attached to the Center for Research in Applied Biotechnology (CIBA, in spanish) Tlaxcala, mentioned that in bioassays directed in vitro they have observed that the secondary metabolites obtained from the plants Lepidium spp., Baccharis spp. and Argemone spp., among other arvenses of the Tlaxcala region, inhibit microorganisms, such as fungi and oomycytes, which reduce tomato production; therefore, later these could represent an alternative to promote higher yields and fruit quality.

She said that, due to pests, on average Mexico loses between 30 and 70 percent of tomato crops, although sometimes they can be up to 100 percent. "When certain types of fungi infect crops, the loss can be total. For example, there is an oomycete (Phytophthora spp.) that is very difficult to control and we found that in vitro the extracts and some of their fractions of the selected plants are highly effective against this pathogen," she said. The polytechnic researcher -who has focused her studies on this line of research over a decade- said that although metabolites have already proven their effectiveness in vitro, it´s very important to analyze in depth their biological activity, in order to ensure that they inhibit pathogenic microorganisms, but that they do not harm those found in soils and are beneficial for crops, or affect pollinating insects.

Miranda Arambula reported that the project is carried out in collaboration with Doctors Ana Luisa Anaya Lang and Ricardo Reyes Chilpa, specialists from the department of the Institute of Ecology and the Institute of Chemistry, both of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Likewise, it has had the support of producers from some regions of Tlaxcala, who have shared their experience and some natural techniques that they apply to keep the crops healthy, which has enriched the research, through which it is intended to generate a natural product that helps fight pathogenic microorganisms and, in this way, give the tomato characteristics of organic food and give it added value.