Research Thesis Topic
The Role of Volatile Chemicals and Secondary Spread from Metarhizium Anisopliae in Biological Control of Sweet Potato Weevil
The sweet potato weevil (SPW), Cylas formicarius, is an important pest of sweet potato in Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae has been used successfully as a biocontrol agent on soil-inhabiting insects such as SPW and other coleopteran pests. Some strains of these fungi have been developed as biological pesticides and registered to control various agricultural pests in Australia and overseas. Recently it has been shown that the SPW can sense volatiles produced by the fungus and can even differentiate virulence of the fungi using these volatiles.
This PhD will the study the chemical makeup of the volatiles and the putative genes in the pathway to their production using published genomes. Gene knockout technology will be used to determine the effect of volatiles on pathogenicity. This will be combined with studies on the potential for horizontal transmission of M. anisopliae, and on the efficacy of conidial treatments under glassouse and field conditions.
- Centre for Crop Health
- Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
- Crop and Pasture Production
Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic
2nd Associate Supervisor sourced from NSW DPI - Dr Mark Stevens