Pathology R&D

Fera plant pathologists specialise in bespoke research into the biology and control of diseases affecting agricultural and horticultural crops and trees

Pathology R&D

Our work helps farmers and growers to achieve more sustainable crop production while protecting the environment from disease threats, and focuses on disease surveillance and risk forecasting, supported by our expertise in epidemiology, pathogen and disease identification, molecular diagnosis, spatial aspects of disease spread, knowledge management and transfer.


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  • Develop improved methods for controlling plant diseases
  • Support effective crop treatment through disease surveillance and risk forecasting
  • Optimise resources with improved disease-management strategies
  • Bespoke analysis to identify long-term disease trends

We can support you with our research expertise in pathogen epidemiology, disease-management strategies, chemical applications, pesticide efficacy testing (ORETO registered) and monitoring for resistance in pathogen populations. Our team is also a leading provider of research on quarantine plant pathogens. Our facilities include specialised quarantine laboratories and glasshouses, which we use to study the epidemiology and control of pathogens that may present a threat to UK farmers and growers.

We maintain culture collections of major plant pathogens including Fusarium species, Septoria tritici, Phytophthora ramorum, P. kernoviae and Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (the cause of ash dieback). We can also collect additional isolates on request, particularly pathogens of wheat and oilseed rape.


Pathology R&D Services

Fera provides research and development services for a wide range of government departments and authorities, as well as commercial businesses, farmers and growers. Our pathology research capabilities include:

Biology and behaviour research

Understanding the biology and behaviour of key invertebrate pest species to advise on policy and control strategies.

Mite services and nuisance insects

Strategies to tackle both indigenous and non-indigenous pests of agriculture, horticulture, tree and bee health importance, including improved monitoring, evaluation of non-chemical control techniques, natural enemies and ecosystem management.

For more information about these services, please get in touch:


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Developing new chemical and biological pesticides

Efficacy evaluation and development of insecticides, acaricides, molluscicides and adjuvants.

Developing novel control methods for invertebrate pests Research and development into novel pesticide targets and delivery systems, including hormones and receptors, parasitic wasp venoms, enhanced biological control by immune suppression, modifying reproductive behaviour, fusion proteins for enhanced oral uptake, novel toxins and RNA-interference (RNAi).

Developing integrated pest-management strategies

Strategies to tackle both indigenous and non-indigenous pests of agriculture, horticulture, tree and bee health importance, including improved monitoring, evaluation of non-chemical control techniques, natural enemies and ecosystem management.



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