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School of Agriculture and Environment
College of Sciences
Understanding the mechanisms behind the toxicity of alternative fumigants
This project aims to elucidate key factors underlying the efficacy of Ethanedinitrile (EDN). Research questions: 1. What is the main point of entry for EDN into the insect body and the main target organs of this fumigant? 2. Does EDN induce changes in the behavior of insects? Are there species-specific differences across the target species. i.e., H. ligniperda, Sitophilus spp and A. ferus? 3. Does EDN change into other compounds when it enters insect bodies? If so, how much of the EDN breakdown products are found in the target organs of the insect body? In order to address the above research questions, I am currently breeding the key forest insects under laboratory conditions and will fumigate them with EDN. Behavior and state of the insects will be monitored after fumigation. After that, I will dissect the insects and look for traces of the fumigant in the insect cuticle, fat bodies, central nervous system and other organs. At the end of the project, I should be able to tell which insect organs are affected by EDN and how much of the fumigant accumulates in each organ.
Methyl bromide is used to treat New Zealand logs exported to China and India. It is an ozone-depleting compound and its use is being phased out with recapture or destruction necessary by 2020. EDN is an ozone-safe alternative to MB which shows early promise as a disinfestation treatment for logs.
The fundamental research of my PhD project will provide gains to New Zealand's economy by ensuring continued market access for forest products.
I am Gidiglo Godwin Nutifafa from Ghana, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Biology from the University for Development Studies. My interest in insect science led me to Iran, where I pursued Medical Entomology and Vector Control for my Masters and subsequently to Massey University for a PhD in the same field-Entomology. I chose Massey as a study destination because it offers students, an extensive range of opportunities to develop intellectually, professionally and personally within a beautiful study environment with resources. After graduation, I would like to work as an academic Lecturer and research Entomologist.
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Last updated on Tuesday 04 April 2017