Biological Chemistry and Crop Protection Department
Head of Department: Prof Linda Field
Deputy Head of Department: Dr Michael Birkett
Departmental Secretary: Mrs Sheila Bishop
The group has long-established and acclaimed expertise in the identification and development of pheromones and other semiochemicals (signalling chemicals) for use in crop protection. It uses molecular genetic approaches to understand how semiochemicals can be generated as plant secondary metabolites and delivered through seed. This involves identification of pheromones and other semiochemicals involved in interactions between insects and between insects and their host plants, investigation of the molecular interactions between semiochemicals and their recognition proteins, elucidation of the molecular basis of natural stress-related induction of plant defences to insects and the deployment of semiochemical strategies at the farm scale.
The research of this group involves the detection/monitoring of resistance to existing and new pesticides and genetic and toxicological characterisation of resistance traits. This is then followed by identification of mutations giving rise to enhanced detoxification or target site insensitivity and the elucidation of molecular interactions between pesticides and their detoxifying enzymes and target site proteins. The overall aim is to promote more efficient use of current pesticides and offer guidance on the design of more effective/selective compounds.
Research focuses on lipid metabolism and signalling, in particular on the mechanism and roles of lipid catabolism and the impact of these processes on plant physiology and lipid engineering. Recently, this has led us to study new aspects of ABA signalling. The group has a long-standing interest in membrane transport, especially in the ABC transporter superfamily.
Operates two national networks for monitoring insect populations in the UK. More...
Provides the research community access to a range of in situ state-of-the-art instrumentation in hydrologically isolated fields and farms to better address key issues in sustainable agriculture. More...
A database of interactions between pathogens and their hosts maintained at Rothamsted Research with international input. More...
These have been running since the mid 19th Century, provide a unique experimental system and archive of soil and plant samples. More...
Rothamsted Research receives
strategic funding from the BBSRC
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