Pyrethrins for the control of plant pathogens

Wageningen University and Research Centre is seeking commercial partners interested in novel applications of the insecticidal compounds pyrethrins to protect plants also from plant pathogens such as fungi and moulds.


The daisy flowers of pyrethrum, Tanacetum cinerariifolium (earlier species name: Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium), accumulate a group of potent insecticidal metabolites called pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are used in many varieties of insecticide, fogging products against mosquitoes and in some pet products. They have been used as a safe household insecticides for over 100 years and are even permitted in organic agriculture. Pyrethrin is a potent insecticide and also an insect repellent at lower concentrations.  This compound is now found suitable also for the protection of plants or seeds from phytopathogenic fungi.

The invention

Wageningen UR scientists have discovered that pyrethrins not only have insecticidal properties but are also effective against plant pathogens like fungi and moulds. This provides now opportunities for novel methods to protect plants or seeds.


Methods for the use of pyrethrins to protect plants, aerial plant parts, seeds, roots or other below-soil plant parts by contact, coating, injection, infusion or external applications.


  • Provides novel uses for pyrethrins against microbes
  • May extend the applications of these organic compounds in plant and food protection both pre- post-harvest
  • May improve protection of plant propagating material
  • May form the basis to breed plants synthesizing pyrethrins resulting in improved resistance against a larger spectrum of pests and diseases

Stage of development

Development phase – laboratory tested