Special Issue "Natural Metabolites as Biocontrol Agents of Insect Pests"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2023 | Viewed by 187

Special Issue Editor

Chemical Ecology and Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biosciences and Applications, National Centre of Scientific Research “Demokritos”, Athens, Greece
Interests: natural products; chemical ecology; semiochemicals; microbial toxins; IPM; insect attractants; pheromones; kairomones; natural metabolites formulation; slow release sytems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world population is constantly rising ergo the demand for food production in agriculture increases as well. Agricultural productivity needs to rise by 70% by 2050 to provide sufficient food for the growing population. At the same time, pests are responsible for most of the losses related to agricultural crops, either in the field or in storage. Their management necessitates the use of chemical pesticides but the extensive use of pesticides causes a number of serious problems, including health issues for humans and detrimental effects on non-target and beneficial organisms of the entomofauna, such as pollinators and natural enemies. In addition, quite often they lead to pest resurgence, the emergence of secondary pests, and resistant biotypes, and mandates the development of safer alternatives derived from natural products.

The replacement of toxic insecticides with safe alternative pest control products will have a positive impact on human health, the environment, and biodiversity. The reduction by half of the more hazardous pesticides by 2030 is at the core of the European Green Deal Biodiversity Strategy.

In order to replace or reduce chemical insecticides for the improvement of the quality of agricultural products, to minimize environmental degradation, and to preserve biodiversity, bioactive natural metabolites are considered a “green” alternative to synthetic insecticides. They can be cheap, biodegradable, and ecofriendly, and they act by several mechanisms of action, suggesting that they are less of a hazard to humans and the environment.

Natural metabolites with bioactivity toward insects include several classes of molecules such as terpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, cyanogenic glucosides, quinones, amides, aldehydes, etc.

In general, these compounds exert important physiological and behavioral functions, act as antifeedants, attractants, nematicides, fungicides, repellents, insecticides, semiochemicals, insect growth regulators, and allelopathic agents, and pose as promising sources for novel pest control agents or biopesticides.

This Special Issue will cover research aspects related to the bioactivity of natural metabolites on insect pests derived from plants, insects, and microorganisms, and how they can be incorporated into Integrated Pest Management systems (IPM) as efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly approaches for pest control replacing chemical insecticides.

Dr. Maria Konstantopoulou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • natural metabolites
  • botanical insecticides
  • insect attractants
  • insect repellents
  • secondary metabolites
  • microbial toxins

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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