Marketplace

  • Jacopa Water
    Jacopa

    Jacopa Opens New Office in South East

    In response to on-going strong growth in the South East, wastewater systems and solutions specialists Jacopa have re-located from Maidstone to larger facilities at nearby Aylesford, Kent.

  • Jacopa Water
    Jacopa

    Screening Success for Jacopa

    Jacopa has been awarded a major new contract by Thames Water. The project will involve the wastewater treatment systems and solutions experts providing two Brackett Green CF100 band screens https://jacopa.com/band-screen/ to replace existing step-type inlet works screens, and installing a Washpactor Jet screenings system https://jacopa.com/jones-attwood-washpactor-jet-system/ for its Iver North wastewater treatment works.

  • Dolav Waste Management
    Dolav

    Millions of Dolav plastic pallet boxes assist recycling

    Widely used in recycling and waste management, the Dolav Ace withstands harsh use including lead-acid battery recycling. Dolav customers, including recyclers, have bought more than a million Dolav Ace plastic pallet boxes in just ten years. In addition, in the last 42 years, Dolav made and supplied millions of other Dolav pallet boxes globally.

  • Jacopa Water
    Jacopa

    Jacopa to Market Nordic Water Belt Filter

    Jacopa Ltd and Swedish water and wastewater treatment specialist Nordic Water have announced an agreement that provides Jacopa with the sole right to distribute the latter's highly-regarded Sobye self-cleaning belt filter in the UK and Ireland.

v ecohouse button

shared iterest button

web mossborough spud field copy

Thursday, 28 April 2016 12:08

Smelly seedlings disliked by slugs and snails could make pest pellets redundant

The ecological damage caused by agricultural slug pellets could be reduced by harnessing naturally occurring chemicals as a means to protect crop seedlings being eaten by common pests, a study suggests.

snail 1Research led by Plymouth University and the University of Southampton analysed the feeding preferences of hundreds of snails when presented with several different cultivars of oilseed rape seedlings.

It showed the invertebrates were more inclined to choose seedlings based on their dislike of naturally-omitted scents rather than employing taste as their primary method of choice.

Scientists say the research, published in the Annals of Botany, represents a key area for further investigation to discover methods of crop protection which do not have lasting environmental impacts.

The research was led by Post-Doctoral Fellow Roger Shannon and Dr Mick Hanley, Associate Professor (Reader) in Plant-Animal Interactions, at Plymouth University. It also involved Professor Guy M Poppy and Professor Philip L Newland from the University of Southampton and scientists from the German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research, Jena, Germany.

snail4Dr Hanley, the corresponding author for the research, said: "Slugs and snails are two of the key pests threatening crop production, and they can be particularly damaging to seedlings, since they cannot regrow in ways that older plants can. But common prevention methods – such as slug pellets – can have a major environmental impact, and finding ways to protect young crops without causing lasting pollution is a major challenge.

"But with our research demonstrating the olfactory preferences of molluscs, harnessing these naturally produced chemicals could provide a potential solution without the environmental problems."

For the research, scientists collected snails from the Plymouth and Southampton areas and presented them with a variety of oilseed rape seedlings, with their choices being recorded.

snail2Each of the seedling cultivars was then characterised for the presence of glucosinolates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), both types of naturally produced chemicals, to determine whether the snails' choices were linked to either type of defence.

The results showed there was no relationship between the snails' choices and the presence of glucosinolates, but that seedling acceptability was strongly related to VOCs.

In the paper, the scientists say: "Crop plants are often bred for various desirable characteristics, but most often priority is given to increased yield and disease resistance over traits favouring herbivore resistance. Increased agro-chemical inputs are often used to maintain productivity; however pesticides can have adverse effects on key non-target species such as pollinators and cause wider contamination. But at a time when increasing demands for food security are in conflict with concern over pesticide use, we show that for one major crop species at least, plant protection could be developed without ecotoxic side effects."

LINK
Something in the air? The impact of volatiles on mollusc attack of oilseed rape seedlings