Pathogen-induced changes in plant-insect interactions for crop and ornamental species in the genus Solanum

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Plant Sciences

Abstract

Theme: Agriculture and Food Security

I will examine the effects of disease on plant-insect interactions using Solanum species present in UK gardens: tomato; potato; aubergine, and the ornamentals Solanum crispum, S. laxum, S. aviculare and others. The viral pathogens to be examined will be those most predominant identified by my survey of viruses affecting Solanum species in UK gardens undertaken in the summer of 2015. The samples are currently being analysed but these
Solanum-infecting viruses are likely to be isolates of Potato virus Y and CMV (aphid-transmitted), as well as tobamoviruses (Tobacco mosaic virus and Tomato mosaic virus) and Potato virus X (not aphid transmitted). I will examine the effects of the selected viruses on colonisation, feeding behaviour, survival and performance of larva of the chewing insect Manduca sexta and the aphids Myzus persicae (a non-specialist) and Macrosiphum euphorbiae
(Solanum specialist), both of which vector a variety of viruses. Bee responses to visual and olfactory cues emitted by healthy versus diseased plants will be investigated using free choice and conditioning assays. Insect responses will be correlated with changes in plant volatile emission (Using GC-MS) and in plant soluble factors e.g. in nectar using LC-MS.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1796609 Studentship BB/M011194/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Anna Platoni
 
Description Festival of Science - Bee talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk and panel discussion featuring Beverley Glover, Alex Murphy and I about the biology of bees and their impact of food security. Lots of interested members of the audience grilled us with lots of good questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Plant Health Garden at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I worked on a garden talking to members of the public about plant viruses and other plant disease as well as gardening for wildlife. The garden itself was featured on BBC Gardeners' question time and many other media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chatsworth-flower-show/Gardens/2018/the-rhs-bbc-gardeners-qt...
 
Description Plant and Life Sciences Marquee at Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We created a stand to explain the work of the lab which required participents to play the part of an aphid and respond to signals given by plants. There was aphid colouring and kids could build their own aphids or bees. Over 1000 people enter the Plant Sciences Marquee and we answered lots of questions about plant viruses and insects with many people pledging to look at plant disease and aphids in a different way and changing their garden management practices to be more wildlife friendly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2019
URL https://www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk/events/plmarquee
 
Description Talk at the British Society Plant Pathology 2019: Arms race: Evolution of plant pathogens and their hosts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation on my PhD work at the conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bspp.org.uk/conferences/arms-race-evolution-of-plant-pathogens-and-their-hosts/