Biopesticide work paving way to sustainable future

A new research programme has been launched to develop the next generation of biopesticides to meet global demand for chemical residue-free produce and sustainable production systems. ​The research will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from AgResearch, Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research, working together in the Bio-Protection Research Centre, based at […]

Fighting back against the ‘evil weevil’

Seven years after its release in New Zealand a little wasp imported from Ireland is reducing the clover root weevil pest by around 90%in monitored areas. The prediction that clover root weevil would eventually colonise nearly all of New Zealand pastures is being realised. However, the wasp’s level of parasitism is much higher in New […]

Farmers unlock the power of endophytes

The perennial ryegrass on which much of New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture depends uses a fungus that grows within the plant, known as an “endophyte”, to protect itself from insect pests. However it can also have implications for animal health. AgResearch scientists discovered a novel endophyte (AR37) which provides ryegrass with the insect protection advantages and […]

Iron-grabber important for endophyte survival

Scientists at New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute, AgResearch, have made a crucial discovery on what makes endophytes succeed in ryegrass. In a paper recently published in the prestigious journal PLOS Pathogens, lead author Dr Linda Johnson describes the tactic used by an endophyte to extract a vital nutrient, iron, from its ryegrass host. ​Paddocks […]

Bird-deterrent ryegrass

A ryegrass seed developed using endophytes acts as a bird deterrent, and has possible applications for airports, golf courses, kiwifruit orchards and vineyards. The AvanexTM endophyte grass uses bioactives from an endophyte of a naturally occuring fungus, Neotyphodium, to act as a feeding deterrent. The grass triggers post-digestion feedback, where mild illness in birds alters […]