Sequencing the genomes of key global pests and beneficial insects has the potential to revolutionise sustainable crop protection



Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 09:30


As the world population grows – along with demands for high-quality, nutritious food, produced with less impact on the environment - there is a need for new pest-control strategies that can both reduce crop losses and conserve biodiversity and ecosystems. These goals can benefit greatly from the availability of high-quality genomic resources.

With this in mind, research leaders from Rothamsted Research, Bayer Crop Science and Syngenta Crop Protection are working together on a Pest Genomics Initiative (PGI) which will sequence and annotate the genomes of key global pests and beneficial insects. In the coming years the results from this pre-competitive early stage research collaboration will be put into the public domain for the benefit of all.

We are pleased to be working with world-class scientists from Bayer Crop Science and Syngenta Crop Protection on this vital research. It is through partnerships like this that Rothamsted is able to amplify the impact of its work and potentially deliver solutions for more sustainable farming

Lin Field, head of Biointeractions and Crop Protection at Rothamsted Research Ltd.


There are many opportunities for using good insect genomic data to aid the design of better, more selective crop protection compounds, for better mitigation of the effects of resistance, and for the development of biologicals and improved traits for insect control. Such genomic resources will also open up exciting new areas that are not being widely exploited at present. What is needed is high quality genome data from insect strains that are well characterized, and that is well assembled and annotated for biological function.

As well as industrial research labs needing high quality information for developing novel pest control technologies, the resources will benefit academic research in many areas of entomology. Steering Committee members include Klaus Raming, Head of Pest Control Product & Project Support at Bayer, and Andrew Crossthwaite , Head of Insecticide Bioscience at Syngenta Crop Protection.


Bayer Crop Science

Syngenta Crop Protection