Screening of Metabolites Produced by Gram Negative Aerobic Bacteria: A Search for Natural Insecticides
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Bacteria can be cultured and used as sources of metabolites which often have useful properties. One of the applications for these chemical compounds is use as an insecticide against agricultural pests. In this study Gram negative aerobic bacterial strains were produced in 4 different media. The samples were collected on 4 different harvest days, then lyophilized and mixed with "insect chow." This mixture was fed to 3 insect larvae of the family Noctuidae and after 5 days the sample was recorded as either causing the death of the insects or not demonstrating lethal activity. The strains for which lethal activity was recorded were subsequently tested again following the same screening procedure. The research showed that these strains can be used to produce compounds with insecticidal activity as 12.3 % of the bacterial strains were associated with the death of all 3 larvae in 2 separate screens.