Agricultural Research Update - Part 1

Delegates
Delegates

Members of the Centre for Biological Control (CBC) attended the 2018 International Congress of Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control and the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology (SIP) held at the QT Gold Coast Hotel in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The conference spanned five days from the 12th to 16th August encompassing a wide range of topics relating to invertebrate pathology and the use of microbes as biological control agents.

Four CBC members travelled to Australia to attend this conference with each giving a presentation outlining work done in further developing biological control programmes in South Africa. Several featured symposia were also attended at the SIP 2018 conference including the “Insect resistance mechanisms to Bacillus thuringiensis” and the “Insect pathology and microbial control – progress and prospects in the Asia-Pacific region” symposia. These symposia, among others, provided a broad view into challenges and developments occurring within biological control programmes worldwide while further enabling discussion with the researchers involved in these projects. The conference included many other presentations and posters spanning the field biological control including discussion on novel agents and the formulation thereof for field application, methods to contain new established invasive pests in an agricultural setting while also showcasing innovative and cutting-edge research.

The conference also provided an opportunity to meet with international collaborators and discuss progress made on research which is currently underway at the CBC. Members from the University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk (UGMUG) in Gdansk, Poland, have been working with the CBC for several years as part of the South Africa (NRF) – Poland (NCBR): Science and technology research collaboration. This collaboration has now entered its final phase and the SIP 2018 conference provided an ideal opportunity to review the completed objectives and discuss future opportunities. Outside of the conference halls, the team also had the opportunity to explore the Gold Coast and enjoy the scenic environment. This included a boat trip along the surrounding canals, a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and a bit of time on the sunny beaches in Surfers Paradise.

The Agricultural Research Programme within the CBC aims to research and develop novel biological control solutions to pest problems in agriculture and to present these in a practical and usable form to the relevant agricultural industries and the scientific community. This news article is 'Part 1' of an update on the CBC Agricultural Research Programme. Keep an eye on our website for 'Part 2' which will follow soon. 

The four oral presentations given at SIP 2018 were:

Jukes, M.D., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P., Moore, S.D., Rabalski, L., and Szewczyk, B., 2018. The development of genetically modified baculoviruses for improved control of the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta in South Africa.

Marsberg, T., Jukes, M.D., Hill, M.P., Knox, C.M., Moore, S.D., Szewczyk, B., Rabalski, L., and Jehle, J.A. 2018. The potential use of a novel alphabaculovirus as a microbial control agent against three economically important tortricid pests.

Van der Merwe, M., Knox, C.M., Hill, M.P., and Moore, S.D. 2018. Yeast-baculovirus synergism: Investigating mixed infections for improved management of the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta.

Mwanza, P., Dealtry, G., Lee, M., and Moore, S.D. 2018. Selection for UV-resistance in the Cryptophlebia leucotreta betabaculovirus for a more persistent biopesticide.

 

Conference room with a view - Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Source:  Michael Jukes

Please help us to raise funds so that we can give all our students a chance to access online teaching and learning. Covid-19 has disrupted our students' education.  Don't let the digital divide put their future at risk. Visit www.ru.ac.za/rucoronavirusgateway to donate