Funded MSc by Research Studentship: Novel Biopesticide Formulation for Improved Biocontrol of Western Flower Thrips (WFT) in Food and Non-Food Crops

Swansea University - Nanotechnology

*This scholarship is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

MSc by Research for UK or EU applicants in the field of: MSc by Research Nanotechnology

Subject study: Novel biopesticide formulation for improved biocontrol of Western flower thrips (WFT) in food and non-food crops

Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, has developed resistance to insecticides and is very difficult to control currently as adequate and reliable biocontrols are not available. WFT caused crop damage of >£20m to high value protected strawberry in the UK alone and worldwide direct damage is in excess of £5 billion per annum, (Kirk, WDJ, Keele University, 2014). This project will develop effective entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) formulations, using nanoparticles to encapsulate the EPF spores, for control of WFT in strawberry and other pests. A few EPF based (=bioinsecticides) products are currently commercially available for some insect pests, but pick-up of the formulated fungal spores by thrips and other pests is low even when spores are present on foliage and flowers and the level of control is poor (Defra HL01107). This project will develop encapsulated EPF formulations that increase spore pick-up, longevity and hence efficacy of the EPF as a pesticide to control WFT.

Eligibility

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Molecular Biosciences or a related subject.

Please visit our website for more information regarding eligibility criteria: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/scholarships/research/nanotechnology-kess-msc-research-novel-biopesticide.php

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