STSM3 Report Beatriz Dader
Insect and UV-A Effects on Pepper Plants
Beatriz Dader visited Dr. Dylan Gwynn-Jones in Aberystwyth (34 days in May 2013)
The aim of this research based at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences of the Aberystwyth University (UK) was to analyse the chemical profiles of foliar samples from plants previously grown at different UV-A levels. These materials have been grown under glasshouse conditions in Madrid (Spain) and offered to a range of insect pests. Plant chemical responses will be used to interpret plant-pest interactions and subsequent insect population and individual growth performance.
Six major compounds were identified in pepper plants by LC-MS. The presence of insects altered the chemical patterns in the plant material.
The newly established link between our labs is likely to be a productive one beyond this visit. The insect pest expertise developed in Madrid matches up well with the plant and biochemical skills at Aberystwyth. The student has been awarded a follow up scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Science for 4 months to develop this collaboration further with analysis and experimentation over the summer.
Since the beginning, the objective of this research exchange was to develop a suite of publishable outcomes. A joint publication on the results is in preparation and a chapter will be included in my PhD dissertation. For those reasons, this exchange visit has been really useful for my PhD program and capacity building in the area of plant chemistry and insect-plant interactions.