Cell biosensors for rapid screening of insect attractants




Forestry and agriculture together contribute close to eight per cent of GDP in Canada, but insect pests pose a continual threat. Functional genomics has long promised to bring new solutions to recurrent and new pest problems. Dr. Peter J. Krell of the University of Guelph, in collaboration with Drs. Daniel Doucet and Jeremy Allison (NRCan), is creating highly sensitive surveillance and mitigation systems targeting insects, using a family of insect genes known as odorant receptors (ORs). This innovation should not only disrupt the discipline of functional genomics, but also the field of insect pest management, making surveillance and mitigation more feasible and faster, while helping preserve Canada’s position as a leading exporter of forest and agricultural products.