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    Trap crop research project features on BBC TV and website

    31 October 2022

    A research project at Harper Adams examining how trap crops could help protect potatoes has been featured on the BBC.

    The Innovate UK project – which is a collaboration between the University, Produce Solutions, and CHAP Agritech, is aimed at reducing the impact of nematodes – small, worm-like creatures whose presence can damage crops such as potatoes.



    Dr Matthew Back, Reader in Nematology at Harper Adams, told science and environment correspondent Dr David Gregory-Kumar:  “Nematodes, in general, will infect  leaves, shoots or roots and when they set up their feeding sites, they are essentially disrupting the cell function within the plants – so where nematodes are left unmanaged they will build up in the soils and they can be very, very damaging over time.”



    To tackle this, the project is working to establish plants which work as trap crops – essentially, attracting the nematodes towards them.

    However, once this happens, the trap crop reacts differently to the main crop – meaning the nematodes lifecycle is disrupted.

    The report featured on BBC Midlands Today – for anyone who missed it, you can read Dr Gregory-Kumar’s piece on the project on the BBC website here.




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