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Novel biocontrol agents for insect pests from neuroendocrinology

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "nEUROSTRESSPEP" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: G12 8QQ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 6˙995˙053 €
 EC max contribution 6˙995˙052 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.3.2. (SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy)
 Code Call H2020-SFS-2014-2
 Funding Scheme RIA
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-06-01   to  2019-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW UK (GLASGOW) coordinator 2˙318˙875.00
2    THE PIRBRIGHT INSTITUTE LBG UK (WOKING) participant 719˙860.00
5    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) participant 511˙625.00
6    UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN DE (KOELN) participant 442˙500.00
7    BRUKER DALTONIK GMBH DE (BREMEN) participant 438˙375.00
8    STOCKHOLMS UNIVERSITET SE (STOCKHOLM) participant 378˙406.00
9    UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS UK (LEEDS) participant 341˙278.00
10    Oxitec Limited UK (Oxford) participant 245˙933.00
13    UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN ZA (RONDEBOSCH) participant 62˙500.00
14    SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT UK (EDINBURGH) participant 62˙031.00


 Project objective

Insects are the most diverse Class of life on earth, and different insects can be essential for, or highly damaging to, agriculture, horticulture and forestry. There is a pressing need, not just for new insecticides to combat resistance, but more specific, “greener” insecticides that target deleterious insects while sparing beneficial ones. This proposal aims to identify such insecticides by turning the insects’ own hormones against them, both by designing artificial neuropeptide “mimetic” analogs as candidate compounds, and by generating transgenic insects that carry deleterious neuropeptide payloads within them, that can propagate through a population and impact on survival at times of stress.

We have assembled an international multi-actor consortium from EU member and associated member states, as well as a third country partner, with unparalleled experience in insect functional genomics, neuropeptide physiology, synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology, and in field-testing of candidates. Established links to agricultural, horticultural and forestry end-users, agencies/advisors and our SME partners ensure relevance to user need; and set out a pathway to exploitation and implementation of our results, for impact across three major economic sectors in the EU and globally.

We will deliver novel, ‘green’ neuropeptide-based insect pest biocontrol tools by: • utilising ‘beyond the State-of-the-Art’ technologies based on two approaches: rational design of neuropeptide hormone analogues; and development of genetically-encoded neuropeptides for translational insect synthetic biology in genetic pest management. • bridging outstanding research and technology in neuroendocrinology and genetics to end user need, to ultimately produce neuropeptide hormone analogues and genetic pest management biocontrol tools. • validating and demonstrating these novel insect biocontrol agents in laboratory, field and forest applications, based on user need and a market-driven approach.


List of deliverables.
Information sheets and video shorts for public and industry end-users Websites, patent fillings, videos etc. 2020-02-12 12:18:22
Publications of key scientific findings from the project and collation of all publications and other dissemination modalities Documents, reports 2020-02-12 12:18:17
Final report on dissemination including post-project dissemination activities Documents, reports 2020-02-12 12:18:15
Impact assessment report Documents, reports 2020-02-12 12:18:15
Neuropeptide metabolomics database for multiple species Demonstrators, pilots, prototypes 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Comprehensive database of physiological function of selected neuropeptides across model and pest insect species relevant to agriculture, horticulture and forestry Websites, patent fillings, videos etc. 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Curated list of conserved and unconserved neuropeptide sequence across our identified species of interest Documents, reports 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Anatomical map of neuropeptide binding sites, across multiple species and multiple peptides, to help delineate mode-of-action Documents, reports 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Validation of expected, and identification of novel neuropeptides as well as PTMs, in laboratory and pest species Documents, reports 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Plan for communication and dissemination Documents, reports 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Deliver outward-facing website and proposal for continuation of website as information portal beyond the lifetime of the project Websites, patent fillings, videos etc. 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Improved methodologies and protocols for fast tissue screening by peptidomics Demonstrators, pilots, prototypes 2019-07-23 18:12:56
Communications plan (including events and stakeholder management where appropriate) Documents, reports 2019-07-23 18:12:56

Take a look to the deliverables list in detail:  detailed list of nEUROSTRESSPEP deliverables.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Maria E. Yurgel, Priyanka Kakad, Meet Zandawala, Dick R. Nässel, Tanja A. Godenschwege, Alex C. Keene
A single pair of leucokinin neurons are modulated by feeding state and regulate sleep–metabolism interactions
published pages: e2006409, ISSN: 1545-7885, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2006409
PLOS Biology 17/2 2019-08-05
2019 Cynthia Lenaerts, Emilie Monjon, Joachim Van Lommel, Lina Verbakel, Jozef Vanden Broeck
Peptides in insect oogenesis
published pages: 58-64, ISSN: 2214-5745, DOI: 10.1016/j.cois.2018.08.007
Current Opinion in Insect Science 31 2019-08-05
2018 Meet Zandawala, Maria E. Yurgel, Michael J. Texada, Sifang Liao, Kim F. Rewitz, Alex C. Keene, Dick R. Nässel
Modulation of Drosophila post-feeding physiology and behavior by the neuropeptide leucokinin
published pages: e1007767, ISSN: 1553-7404, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007767
PLOS Genetics 14/11 2019-08-05
2017 Tim Harvey-Samuel, Thomas Ant, Luke Alphey
Towards the genetic control of invasive species
published pages: 1683-1703, ISSN: 1387-3547, DOI: 10.1007/s10530-017-1384-6
Biological Invasions 19/6 2019-08-05
2019 Lucy Alford, Richard Marley, Anthony Dornan, Julian A. T. Dow, Ronald J. Nachman, Shireen A. Davies
Desiccation, thermal stress and associated mortality in Drosophila fruit flies induced by neuropeptide analogue treatment
published pages: 1123-1137, ISSN: 1612-4758, DOI: 10.1007/s10340-019-01100-0
Journal of Pest Science 92/3 2019-08-05
2019 Lucy Alford, Richard Marley, Anthony Dornan, Jean‐Sébastien Pierre, Julian AT Dow, Ronald J Nachman, Shireen A Davies
Assessment of neuropeptide binding sites and the impact of biostable kinin and CAP2b analogue treatment on aphid ( Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum rosae ) stress tolerance
published pages: 1750-1759, ISSN: 1526-498X, DOI: 10.1002/ps.5372
Pest Management Science 75/6 2019-08-05
2017 Lapo Ragionieri, Burak Özbagci, Susanne Neupert, Yuval Salts, Michael Davidovitch, Miriam Altstein, Reinhard Predel
Identification of mature peptides from pban and capa genes of the moths Heliothis peltigera and Spodoptera littoralis
published pages: 1-9, ISSN: 0196-9781, DOI: 10.1016/j.peptides.2017.05.004
Peptides 94 2019-07-23
2018 Meet Zandawala, Richard Marley, Shireen A. Davies, Dick R. Nässel
Characterization of a set of abdominal neuroendocrine cells that regulate stress physiology using colocalized diuretic peptides in Drosophila
published pages: 1099-1115, ISSN: 1420-682X, DOI: 10.1007/s00018-017-2682-y
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 75/6 2019-07-23
2018 Selim Terhzaz, Lucy Alford, Joseph GC Yeoh, Richard Marley, Anthony J Dornan, Julian AT Dow, Shireen A Davies
Renal neuroendocrine control of desiccation and cold tolerance by Drosophila suzukii
published pages: 800-810, ISSN: 1526-498X, DOI: 10.1002/ps.4663
Pest Management Science 74/4 2019-07-23
2017 Caroline S. Gough, Grace M. Fairlamb, Petra Bell, Ronald J. Nachman, Neil Audsley, R. Elwyn Isaac
Peptidergic control in a fruit crop pest: The spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii
published pages: e0188021, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188021
PLOS ONE 12/11 2019-07-23
2017 Shireen Davies
nEUROSTRESSPEP: Novel biocontrol agents for insect pests from neuroendocrinology
published pages: 164-165, ISSN: 0020-8256, DOI:
International Pest Control 59(3):164-165 2019-07-23
2019 Alice Ly, Lapo Ragionieri, Sander Liessem, Michael Becker, Sören-Oliver Deininger, Susanne Neupert, Reinhard Predel
Enhanced Coverage of Insect Neuropeptides in Tissue Sections by an Optimized Mass-Spectrometry-Imaging Protocol
published pages: 1980-1988, ISSN: 0003-2700, DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b04304
Analytical Chemistry 91/3 2019-08-06
2017 Joseph G.C. Yeoh, Aniruddha A. Pandit, Meet Zandawala, Dick R. Nässel, Shireen-Anne Davies, Julian A.T. Dow
DINeR: Database for Insect Neuropeptide Research
published pages: 9-19, ISSN: 0965-1748, DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2017.05.001
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 86 2019-07-23
2018 Elisabeth Marchal, Sam Schellens, Emilie Monjon, Evert Bruyninckx, Heather Marco, Gerd Gäde, Jozef Vanden Broeck, Heleen Verlinden
Analysis of Peptide Ligand Specificity of Different Insect Adipokinetic Hormone Receptors
published pages: 542, ISSN: 1422-0067, DOI: 10.3390/ijms19020542
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19/2 2019-07-23
2009 Markus Aspelmeyer
Quantum tomography: Measured measurement
published pages: 11-12, ISSN: 1745-2473, DOI: 10.1038/nphys1170
Nature Physics 5/1 2019-07-23

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