Insecticidal Activity of Plant Lectins and Potential Application in Crop Protection.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

PubMedID: 25633332

Macedo ML, Oliveira CF, Oliveira CT. Insecticidal Activity of Plant Lectins and Potential Application in Crop Protection. Molecules. 2015;20(2):2014-2033.
Lectins constitute a complex group of proteins found in different organisms. These proteins constitute an important field for research, as their structural diversity and affinity for several carbohydrates makes them suitable for numerous biological applications. This review addresses the classification and insecticidal activities of plant lectins, providing an overview of the applicability of these proteins in crop protection. The likely target sites in insect tissues, the mode of action of these proteins, as well as the use of lectins as biotechnological tools for pest control are also described. The use of initial bioassays employing artificial diets has led to the most recent advances in this field, such as plant breeding and the construction of fusion proteins, using lectins for targeting the delivery of toxins and to potentiate expected insecticide effects. Based on the data presented, we emphasize the contribution that plant lectins may make as tools for the development of integrated insect pest control strategies.