3114: Investigation of new control options for phosphine resistant pests of stored grain

Project Number

3114

Project Type & Status

Core-Active

Project Leader

Researchers

Dr Ross Mann
Dr Manoj Nayak

Impact Delivery Themes

3114: Investigation of new control options for phosphine resistant pests of stored grain

This project aims to identify solutions to control phosphine resistant insects, which will be of benefit to grain handlers, grain growers and exporters of grain.                                                                             

What is the biosecurity problem this project aims to resolve/improve?

Control of increasingly phosphine resistant insect pests.

Project Summary

This project has the objective of identifying practical solutions to the problem of controlling phosphine resistant insects. This will ultimately be of benefit to grain handlers, grain growers and exporters of grain. The immediate end-users, however, will be other researchers who will determine the commercial viability of identified fumigants in direct collaboration with industry.

Previous work by Paul Ebert led to the discovery of chemicals that either synergistically enhance or inhibit the toxicity of phosphine. The molecular basis of these chemical interactions will be determined and used to identify fumigants that act similarly as phosphine synergists.

Previous work by Dr Ross Mann in DEPI Victoria led to the determination that some of the volatile chemicals produced by fungi are toxic to insects. He will identify the molecules responsible for insect toxicity and assess their suitability as natural product fumigants.

Dr Manoj Nayak of QDAFF will play a critical supporting role by testing novel compounds and chemical combinations against characterised phosphine resistant strains of the major pest insect species.

Impact

The project is designed to alleviate the problem of phosphine resistance by identifying candidate break fumigants and phosphine synergists. The project will also generate information to improve the deployment of these chemicals to maximise their longevity. The goal of these outcomes is to ensure that market access of Australian grain is maintained.

The use of synergist may allow lower doses of phosphine to be used, which will reduce risk to applicators and other bystanders.

Key achievements

We are currently establishing the techniques required for the systems toxicology of candidate fumigants. This will lead to knowledge-based decisions regarding deployment of new fumigants as well as knowledge-based identification of synergistic fumigants.

Research locations

Most of the research will occur at UQ in collaboration with QDAFF. A quite different project of 18 months duration (with the possibility of extension), will occur at DEPI Vic.

Endophytic fungi and their natural environment.

Partners in this Project