Caption: Saccharopolyspora spinosa - Gram-positive, aerobic, filamentous, rod prokaryote (bacterium). Saccharopolyspora spinosa is a soil actinomycete that belongs to the Actinomycetes group and are bacteria that share many characteristics with fungi. They grow usually as filaments (chains of cells) and often branch to form a network of filaments (mycelium) in the soil. At the tips of filaments spore chains of indefinite length develop (not seen in this image). These soil bacteria are responsible for the musty odor of soil. Saccharopolyspora spinosa was first identified in 1982 and subsequently a new class of metabolite products (called spinosyns) were discovered under fermentation conditions by this actinomycete. The metabolites were found to be very important in insect pest management control. The first insecticide product from this class of metabolites has been called Spinosad. Spinosad is a mixture of the two most active naturally occurring metabolites (spinosyns A and D) produced by S. spinosa. Structurally, these compounds are macrolides and contain a unique tetracyclic ring system to which two different sugars are attached. These compounds have a unique mode of action coupled with a high degree of activity on targeted pests (especially catepillars and flies) with low toxicity to non-target organisms. Spinosad is selectively active on insects in the orders: Lepidoptera, Diptera, Thysanoptera, and some Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Targeted crops are cotton, vegetables, tree fruits, and nuts. Spinosad will be an alternative biological based insecticide for pest management control systems in the future.
Magnification*: x2,000
Type: SEM
Copyright 2009 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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