Developing new technologies to monitor translocation of chemicals in plant leaf

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Chemistry


The effectiveness of pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) for crop protection crucially depends on the permeability of the formulation's active ingredient across various leaf layers and membranes. Chemical adjuvants are often used to soften the top wax layer of the leaf and enable herbicide transport across this protective barrier. In practice the link between active ingredient uptake, wax softness and/or permeability and the effectiveness of a herbicide is very challenging to measure. Engineering effective adjuvants and understanding the gains and losses in efficacy are, therefore, significant agrotech challenges.

This project is a collaboration between BASF and the Institute of Chemical Biology EPSTC Centre for Doctoral Training, and will develop a suite of novel methods to measure wax softening and permeability in two complementary ways:

1. direct imaging of permeability of highly controllable wax barrier in droplet interface bilayer tool; and,
2. via directly imaging of wax viscosity using environmentally sensitive molecular rotors and advanced optical microscopy.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2886835 Studentship EP/S023518/1 30/09/2023 29/09/2027 Michelle Wong Chap Lan