New technologies to replace neonicotinoid pesticides in the control of cabbage stem flea beetle on rapeseed

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


This PhD project aims to create the underlying knowledge required to help develop new more environmentally-friendly approaches to controlling the key insect pest on rapeseed, the cabbage stem flea beetle. Flea beetles had previously been effectively controlled by neonicotinoid seed treatments, but the current usage ban in Europe based on toxic effects on bee populations mean that we need new and more specific approaches to protecting rapeseed crops from flea beetle damage. Central to this effort is the need to understand the molecular genetics of the interaction between flea beetles and the rapeseed crop in more detail. In this project you will develop methods for analysing the molecular events that enable flea beetles to overcome rapeseed plant defences and successfully attack the crop. You will use new genomic tools to understand plant responses to insect feeding, and use modern breeding techniques to identity and characterise sources of resistance to flea beetle attack using exotic brassica germplasm collections from our commercial partner. The project will run closely with the rapeseed breeding company Limagrain and will include opportunities to take secondments at Limagrain and to exploit their field trials programme and genetic tools for this project.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2059789 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Lucy Thursfield