Project summary

Global crop yields are reduced by 20 to 40% per year due to plant pests and diseases constraining global food security. The current approaches to management of pests and diseases rely on plant genetic resistance and/or transgenes, coupled with insecticide and fungicide sprays. In Australia, crop protection products (CPP) increase crop yields by about 40% and add value to our food production by $13 billion each year. The need for new control agents grows each year, driven by the need for greater production, climate driven pest expansion, community and regulatory demands, toxicity issues and pesticide resistance. This project use clay NPs to develop BioClay crop protection technology to deliver a new generation of non-toxic, non-transgenic, environmentally sustainable BioClay Crop Protection Products or BCPP. The inert clay nanoparticle can protect and facilitate sustained release of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), the trigger of RNAi technology, to provide resistance against pests and pathogens.

Research Group

Xu Group


Nanoclay materials, nanoparticles, Nanobiotechnology, fertilizer, pesticides

Available Student Projects

Bioclays in antivirus application







Project members

Lead Investigator

Dr Peng Li

Postdoctoral Research Fellow