Screening method to identify compounds with potential pesticidal activity against organisms containing chitin

The present invention provides a new screening method to identify compounds with potential pesticidal activity against pathogenic organisms containing chitin. Such compounds are novel inhibitors of the deacetylation enzyme (CDA) that works in chitin-containing organisms, such as fungi, arthropods, or nematodes. By blocking the action of this key-enzyme, plants can start their immune defense response.

Blocking the CDA enzyme consists in a new approach to develop pesticides, and therefore combinative with another existing ones. As a result of the inventive process, two technologies have been developed. The first one consists of a screening method for the identification of compounds with potential pesticidal activity, using cheminformatics and experimental approximations that include molecular topology equations. The second technology comprises a collection of  20 compounds with potential CDA inhibitory activity identified using the screening method.

The researchers behind the innovation belong to the Institute for Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture “La Mayora” and the Microbiology and Crop Protection research group from the University of Malaga (UMA) and the Molecular Topology and Drug Design Research Unit from the University of Valencia (UV). The institutions represented are looking for a collaboration that leads to commercial exploitation of the presented invention.

Institution: Universidad de Málaga and Universitat de València

TRL: 5-6

Protection status: Patent Application

Contact: Laura Núñez /