2021 Volume 46 Issue 1 Pages 7-15
Reducing the use of broad-spectrum insecticides is one of the many challenges currently faced by insect pest management practitioners. For this reason, efforts are being made to develop environmentally benign pest-control products through bio-rational approaches that aim at disrupting physiological processes unique to specific groups of pests. Perturbation of hormonal regulation of insect development and reproduction is one such strategy. It has long been hypothesized that some enzymes in the juvenile hormone biosynthetic pathway of moths, butterflies and caterpillars (order Lepidoptera) display unique structural features that could be targeted for the development of Lepidoptera-specific insecticides, a promising avenue given the numerous agricultural and forest pests belonging to this order. Farnesyl diphosphate synthase, FPPS, is one such enzyme, with recent work suggesting that it has structural characteristics that may enable its selective inhibition. This review synthesizes current knowledge on FPPS and summarizes recent advances in its use as a target for insecticide development.