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Crop Protection

Research on pests and diseases that affect important food crops is influencing pest management practices used by farmers and helping the agritech industry to develop new disease-resistant varieties.


The next generation of herbicides
Competition from weeds is a major constraint on crop performance. For over 60 years synthetic auxin herbicides have played an important role in weed management across the globe, primarily in cereal crops where they are used to control broad-leaved weeds. Despite their long history, new synthetic auxins are still being discovered. The recent identification of a family of auxin receptors as their target site has, for the first time, allowed us to use structure-led rational design to help shape the next generation of auxin herbicides.


Exploiting natural resistance to Turnip yellows virus in oil seed rape
Funded by the BBSRC, research at Warwick has identified sources of resistance to Turnip yellows virus in oilseed rape. The growing of virus-resistant plants will improve food security and reduce pesticide inputs and residues in vegetables.

Nematode  Biopesticide use in agriculture and horticulture
Funded by the UK RELU (Rural Economy and Land Use) programme, a team from the University of Warwick investigated the regulatory and environmental sustainability of biopesticides in the UK, comparing regulatory developments with other systems in Europe and the USA. The project developed a series of recommendations to aid the commercialisation of biopesticides, and provided advice to regulators, policy-makers, several major UK supermarkets, and companies developing new products.