The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) is global crop pest that causes millions of pounds worth of damage to crops worldwide. This is partly because it has developed field resistance to a wide variety of insecticides including Bt toxin. Using genetic linkage mapping and genomic approaches we have identified the genes for resistance to Bt toxin and spinosad. These discoveries will facilitate the management of resistance and future studies aimed at ameliorating resistance.
More recently we have worked on the hybridisation between Helicoverpa armigera and H. zea in Brazil, and have shown adaptive introgression of a gene for pyrethroid resistance from armigera into zea. This has already costs billions of dollars to Brazilian agriculture and we hope that a better understanding of this system will help control these pests.