Sustainable Pesticide Combination to Control Pathogens in Agriculture

Kerem Zohar, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition


The question of how to feed the worlds growing population is becoming increasingly important. By 2050, the population of the world is set to rise to 9 billion people and current food production rates will need to double in order to fulfill the increased demand. One way to deal with this issue is through developing novel approaches to manage pests.

Our Innovation

A novel green pesticide has been developed, based on a multi-hurdle approach to combat phytopathogens, using Pectobacterium as a model pathogen and potato as a model plant.


  • The compounds were shown to produce micelles that can entrap and protect the reactive plant derived antimicrobials until micelles are either integrated or destroyed by the pathogens.
  • Induces plant's own defense system
  • The antimicrobials employ different modes of action that also work synergistically against pathogens such as Pectobacterium carotovorum.


The multi-hurdle approach is based on combinations of natural antimicrobials from plants that act in different modes, and were shown in the lab to act synergistically against E. Coli. The inventors hypothesized that plant pathogenic bacteria can be effectively controlled by the combined action of plant phenolics and natural emulsifiers, and that by applying the selected green pesticide it shall additionally induce defense in potatoes, adding one more mechanism to the multi-hurdle approach.


  • Success of the project should lead to increased food security: focusing on potato, the development of novel sustainable green pesticides will counter the economically important, worldwide yield losses in potato during growth and in storage caused by intractable SRE.
  • Generality of the technology should allow combatting stresses in agriculture.
  • This research will combine two emerging fields of understanding in plant disease research: i) the virulence mechanisms in SRE, and ii) the resistance mechanisms in potato using the newly acquired potato genome.

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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