Anti-fungal garlic-derived polysulfides:- Modes of action and applications in food crop protection (HAMILTON_U17ICASE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Prompted by environmental and health concerns associated with many chemical pesticides there is now an urgent need for alternative pest control methods in food crop protection programs.

Garlic extracts display broad spectrum activity against numerous food crop pests, offering appealing pest control alternatives, which are biodegradable and pose less risk to humans and animal welfare. The most prominent bioactive components in garlic extracts are a series of unusual organosulfur molecules known as diallyl-polysulfides (DAPS). Preliminary studies indicate that once DAPS enter the target pathogen their bioactivity can be triggered by reaction with thiol cofactors such as glutathione to perturb the intracellular redox status and ultimately cause cell death.

In collaboration with ECOspray ( this project aims to:

1. Unravel how DAPS induce oxidative stress in fungal pathogens at the biochemical level.
2. Reveal how this correlates with their effects different stages of the fungal life cycle
3. Use this information, in field trial settings, to optimise DAPS treatment regimens to protect numerous food crops (eg. Potato, pea, tomato) against fungal pests.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/R506060/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1941038 Studentship BB/R506060/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Styliani Kounadi
Description Ecospray Ltd, iCASE partner 
Organisation Ecospray Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution ECOspray Ltd is an SME company located at Hilborough, Norfolk. Our research team contributes towards the evaluation of polysulfide dosing and application procedure for crop protection in order to prevent fungal damage to pea and potato crops. Ecospray and our research team collaborate with Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) for experiments that require soil pathogens analysis and with farmers to secure crops for bio-pesticide trials.
Collaborator Contribution ECOspray provides training in all aspects of field trials and collaboration with farmers.
Impact The collaboration with the industrial partner provides exposure to field trials design as well as the opportunity to link information gained from fundamental research to applications in crop management and pest control.
Start Year 2018
Description Pharmacy Research Day, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia and Ecospray Ltd annual board director meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Pharmacy research day is a annual event where postgraduate researcher and supervisors take part presenting their work to others. In this event more that 100 people attended a presentation on the PhD project which increased people's interest on the topic.

During the Ecospray Ltd annual board director meeting, professionals working in industry watched a presentation on basic research outputs related to science behind products they create and sell.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019