Biological crop protection: a new 'slow down/speed up' strategy for aphid management

This project will underpin the development of a ‘slow down / speed up’ integrated pest management (IPM) system for aphid pests of field crops that combines plant breeding and biological control, focusing on the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae. Our approach involves slowing down the growth rate of pests while speeding up the performance of their natural enemies. We are investigating the hypothesis that Brassica genotypes with partial resistance that slows down aphid development makes the pest more susceptible to biological control agents including biopesticides and parasitoids.

Chemical study of insect-plant interactions: a contribution to biorational control of crop pests

New solutions for managing insect pests are urgently needed due to evolution of resistance to current insecticides. This project focuses on development and bioactivity testing of novel nanotech formulations of plant secondary metabolites that could provide new options for crop protection. The Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) group has strong preliminary data showing that nanotech formulations of certain plant flavonoids complexed with Mg (II) substantially reduce growth of insects. Preliminary experiments done by the Keele University (KU) group with PAA (poly(allylamine)) nanotech formulations of essential oils have shown highly significant repellent action, with greatly enhanced activity compared to conventionally formulated material.