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Picture pesticide control

Academics and researchers in our Biosciences department are renowned for their world-class research and expertise.

Now a new 3-year collaboration between our researchers and global crop protection and seed technologies company Nufarm aims to develop an eco-friendly innovation to combat the growing issue of pesticide resistance in agriculture.

Revolutionary research

The research focuses on unravelling the molecular mechanisms driving herbicide efficacy and plant cell death responses.

The research team has discovered that when plants experience stress situations like drought and herbicide exposure, a mechanism which triggers reactive oxygen species production is activated, resulting in plant death.

By screening plant metabolites and identifying those that stimulate this mechanism, the researchers aim to develop combinations that lower the herbicide concentration needed for weed control.

This breaks down pesticide resistance while reducing environmental impacts.

The project will also explore genetic modification approaches to make crops more tolerant to herbicide damage.

Nufarm partnership

The project will be led by Associate Professor Steve Chivasa from our Biosciences department to better understand how biological systems adapt to pesticides.

The goal is to prolong the effectiveness of existing pesticide compounds while also anticipating future resistance mechanisms.

Nufarm is supporting this project with a funding agreement that is consistent with its commitment to support early-stage research projects in the crop protection space.

Find out more

Our Department of Biosciences is a leading centre for this increasingly important area of study and is ranked 5th in The Complete University Guide 2023. Students develop a wide range of analytical and practical skills that prepare them to meet these challenges we face across the globe including food security, sustainability and the impact of climate change.

Feeling inspired? Visit our Biosciences webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.

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