How do you control insect pests without damaging biodiversity?
The Robin Lab
Myzus persicae (the green peach aphid) is a polyphagous pest that can cause crop damage by intense infestation of plants or by vectoring plant viruses. Our research into this species includes:
Assembling transcriptomic datasets to help us understand various aspects of the biology of this pest.
Developing RNAi technology that targets these aphids. The attraction of this technology is that the RNAi can be designed so that it is highly specific to the pest species. We have developed design tools to help with this.
Examining the genomic variation of asexual and sexual clones in Australia.
This work has been funded by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund through its support of the 'Caterpillar and Aphid Resistance in Brassica' (CARiB) project that is championed by Dr. Derek Russell. We also have the cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassica) and the turnip aphid (Liphaphis erysimi) in our sites.
Amol Ghodke (PhD student)
Owain Edwards (CSIRO)
Derek Russell (Unimelb)
John Golz (Unimelb)
Bernie Carroll (UQ)
Paul Umina (CESAR consultants)
Photo: Amol Ghodke