A new generation of insect resistant GM crops: Transgenic wheat synthesising the aphid alarm signal

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted


The alarm pheromone for many aphids is the sesquiterpene (E)-beta-farnesene (EBf). This project aims to transform wheat plants with an EBf synthase from Mentha x piperita and examine behavioural responses of aphids and their natural enemies to these plants. The main objective is to develop transgenic wheat lines that repel aphids by emission of their alarm pheromone, evaluating this at both lab and field scale. Specific objectives are:
1) Transformation of wheat plants with EBf synthase gene
2) Molecular and phenotypic characterisation of transformed plants
3) Aphid alarm response bioassay to the transformed plants
4) Aphid olfactometer repellency bioassay:
5) Aphid settling test in field simulator
6) Parasitoid attraction bioassay
7) Parasitoid foraging bioassay
8) Field trials: Two field experiments will be conducted to determine aphid infestation levels of the transformed plants under typical field conditions.


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