SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

BIOINTERACTIONS AND CROP PROTECTION

We do fundamental research to understand insect movement and migration, the way pesticides act, weeds,  the mechanisms and evolution of pesticide resistance, how host plants resist to insects and pathogens and on semiochemical signalling as defence mechanism.

This is all aimed at informing better, environmental-friendly and more sustainable crop protection strategies, that minimise chemical inputs, without reducing yields. We deliver this approach via collaborations with the agrochemical industry, agri-advisors and directly with farmers/growers and policy makers. 

We have a wide range of expertise across chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics and genomics, bioinformatics, entomology, plant pathology, weed science and modelling.

By improving crop protection, we can reduce crop losses from insects, pathogens and weeds, and support all three of the institutes’ s Science Portfolios. The department also houses the Rothamsted Insect Survey National Capability and many other resources such as an insectary, electrophysiology, the Pathogen-Host Interactions database, a Virus-Induced Gene Silencing lab and many others.

PROJECTS

SCIENCE CLUSTERS

Surveillance and monitoring

PEST-HOST INTERACTIONS

We seek to understand how insects interact with each other and select their hosts and seek to develop ways to interfere with these processes

Surveillance and monitoring

PESTICIDE RESISTANCE

We seek to understand the biochemical/molecular basis of resistance and how it evolves and spreads through populations in the field

Surveillance and monitoring

SURVEILLANCE AND MONITORING

We seek to understand and predict movement of insects and pathogens at different scales - including the Rothamsted Insect Survey

Surveillance and monitoring

WHEAT PATHOGENOMICS

We seek to understand how pathogens interact with the wheat crop and how host plant resistance can protect crops