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Resisting resistance: New applications for molecular diagnostics in crop protection

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robert Edwards, Dr Nawaporn OnkokesungORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© The Authors.While there is universal recognition of the dangers of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to human health, far less attention has been directed towards the steady growth of resistance to the pesticides and herbicides that safeguard global food security. As a major constraint on crop productivity, weed competition causes greater losses than invertebrate pests and fungal pathogens combined, with the development of herbicide resistance now a primary agronomic threat to arable agriculture and horticulture. Here in the UK, our dominant crop, winter wheat, is now subject to annual losses of 1 million tons of grain equating to an estimated £0.5 billion, primarily due to the mass evolution of herbicide resistance in the highly competitive weed blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides). Informed by strategies being developed in healthcare to combat AMR through its rapid identification, we now look to new tools to combat herbicide and pesticide resistance informed by molecular diagnostics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Edwards R, Onkokesung N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemist

Year: 2020

Volume: 42

Issue: 4

Pages: 6-12

Print publication date: 01/08/2020

Online publication date: 28/07/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 27/11/2020

ISSN (print): 0954-982X

ISSN (electronic): 1740-1194

Publisher: Portland Press Ltd


DOI: 10.1042/BIO20200040


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