Entomology and insectary

The John Innes Centre’s Entomology and insectary facility provides a unique and specialised service for undertaking and supporting invertebrate-related studies.

Our skilled and experienced team of entomologists are on hand to maintain, design, undertake and oversee studies using many different species of invertebrates, including non-native exotic species (held under DEFRA licence), and native plant pest species, within a purpose-built quarantined insectary.

Most invertebrate species within the facility are associated with crop losses and/or the transmission of specific plant diseases (viruses and phytoplasmas). The majority of these are Hemipteran (sap sucking) species that originate from the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. These are held under a DEFRA Plant Health licenced, quarantined environment.

The Entomology facility’s team are trained and experienced entomologists who have developed and use a wide range of bioassays for studying not only insect-plant interactions, but other ditrophic and tritrophic systems such as:

  • Plant – Invertebrate interactions
  • Plant – Pathogen – Invertebrate interactions
  • Molecular – Plant – Microbe – Invertebrate interactions
  • Invertebrate – Microbe associations

This includes invertebrate transmitted plant pathogens, natural plant defences, natural enemies and crop protection products. 

In addition, the entomology team provides advice for controlling and eradicating outbreaks of plant pests within the John Innes Centre’s glasshouses and controlled environment rooms, as and when they occur.

The Entomology team also manages the SlugWatch website and SlugWatch twitter account; this began as a Citizen science project, that collated information from the public on UK slug sightings, particularly in helping to track the spread of the invasive Spanish Slug.

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