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Aphid-repelling wheat, National Institute for Bioscience, Global map of smell, Parrot mimics

Aphid-repelling wheat, National Institute for Bioscience, Global map of smell, Parrot mimics

Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire has just finished trials of a new way to repel aphids from wheat. It's a clever system, that takes a gene for a pheromone, called E beta farnesene, from peppermint, and inserts it into wheat. Aphids let off E Beta Farnesene when they are under attack or when a dead bug is detected, and idea was to have the wheat produce the chemical alarm itself. In the lab, the plants had driven aphids away in their droves. But in the field, where controlled lab conditions are not present, there was no measurable reduction. So what's gone wrong? Adam speaks to spoke to plant geneticist to Dr Gia Aradottir who worked on the Rothamsted trial and Professor Mike Bevan of the John Innes Institute.

Top biologists have recently met to launch the National Institutes for Bioscience, the N.I.B, a star-studded partnership of eight great British biological Institutes, such as the Roslin- former home of Dolly the Sheep - and the world's longest running agricultural research st

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