Agricultural pests (weeds, insect pests, diseases and viruses) evolve in response to crop cultivation. Future pest management can benefit from integration of ecological and evolutionary principles to predict long-term responses of pest populations to changing pest management, agricultural environment and climate. This project will provide the biological basis for more evolutionary-enlightened pest management in which management principles are supported by evolutionary biology. We will expand our basic knowledge of the genetic variation of pest organisms to assess the potential for adaptation. We will focus on the evolutionary dynamics of selection for resistance rather than describing the physiological and molecular basis of pesticide resistance. To shed light on the principles behind the adaption of pest organisms to different management systems, we will study the evolution of resistance in:
We will use molecular tools, e.g. transcriptome analysis, to follow the microevolutionary process of resistance development in field, semi-field and laboratory experiments and identify the effect of major and minor resistance genes on the fitness of resistant and susceptible phenotypes. The ambition is to combine management, genetic variation and fitness data in models to predict and prevent resistance development.