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Agricultural Research Programme

Programme Manager: Dr Sean Moore

All of the plants that we utilize as crops are also attacked by insect pests. It is estimated that the world loses about 50% of its crops to pests. In an attempt to reduce the amount of chemical pesticides sprayed in the environment, the Agricultural Research Programme undertaken in the Entomology Department at Rhodes University aims to identify and exploit predatory and parasitic insects, such as beetles and wasps, and entomopathogens, such as fungi and viruses, to control insect pests. This research focusses mainly on the citrus industry, but we also have projects on pests of pome fruit (apples and pears), cabbage, potato, litchi, macadamia and pecans. In addition to being self-perpetuating and thus sustainable, use of these biological control techniques is not polluting or disruptive to the environment, and neither are chemical residues left on the food.

Dr Sean Moore manages the Agricultural Research Programme and there are a number of students, from third year level to Post-Doctorate, who are doing research within this programme. The aim of the Agricultural Research Programme is 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.

Key readings

KNOX, C.M., MOORE, S.D. LUKE, G.A. & HILL, M.P.  2015. Baculovirus-based strategies for the management of insect pests: A focus on research and development in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology 25(1): 1-20.

COOMBES, C.A., HILL, M.P., MOORE, S.D. &, DAMES, J.F.  2016.  Entomopathogenic fungi as control agents of Thaumatotibia leucotreta in citrus orchards: field efficacy and persistence.  BioControl 61: 729-739.

MOORE, S.D. & DUNCAN, L.W.  2017.  Microbial Control of Insect and Mite Pests of Citrus.  In: L.A. Lacey (Ed.) Microbial control of Insect and Mite pests: from theory to practice.  Academic Press, London, pp. 283-298.

NEPGEN, E.S, MOORE, S.D. & HILL, M.P.  2018.  Integrating chemical control with sterile insect releases in an integrated pest management programme for Thaumatotibia leucotreta.  Journal of Applied Entomology, 142: 421-427.

HATTING, J.L., MOORE, S.D. & MALAN, A.P.  2018.  Microbial control of phytophagous invertebrate pests in South Africa: current status and future prospects.  Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.  In press.

Last Modified: Fri, 07 Dec 2018 08:32:17 SAST