Researcher biography

Molecular mechanisms of phosphine resistance

Genetic mapping of oxidative stress resistance genes. The fumigant phosphine disrupts oxidative metabolism, resulting in the production of reactive oxygen intermediates. This causes the premature ageing and death of targeted pests. Insect pests of stored grain in Australia now exhibit resistance to phosphine at levels more than 200 times the normal lethal dose.

We have genetically mappedf and identified the genes responsible for phosphine resistance in tall major insect pests of stored grain. We are using a systems biology approach in the model organism C. elegans to understand the molecular basis of phosphine action. Our genetic studies have recently shown that resistance to phosphine is associated with an extension of lifespan