In collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Biosciences and industry partners, we investigate how chemically mediated interactions between plants, microbes and insects can be manipulated to create agrochemical formulations based on short-lived natural compounds.
We use a combination of chemical (typically GC-MS to identify compounds) and biological (to test for attractant/repellant/insecticidal properties) methods to identify and determine the role of these compounds.
Chemical communication that may be used in agriculture. Attractant compounds can be used for lures or traps, while repellant and insecticidal compounds can be applied to crops to ward off or kill pests. Plant compounds may also be applied to attract beneficial microbes, while some microbial compounds can boost plant growth.