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Plant Science

Plant science research at Askham Bryan College incorporates several disciplines including agricultural crop systems, horticulture, sports turf management, micropropagation and plant-animal interactions. Specialist science resources include an established micropropagation facility and plant growth facilities, which complement our extensive farm and horticultural resources at our York campus. There is a strong focus on sustainability, conservation and practical management techniques which are fundamental to future agricultural and horticultural practices. Our  undergraduate students work alongside our specialist staff on projects including: developing new methods for micropropagation of plant material, crop growth trials, sports turf maintenance and plant ecology.

Project Staff:

Dr Deirdre Rooney, Director of Higher Education


Project Title: Toxicity of a larval host plant to different insect instars Start Date: June 2016
Project Lead Staff: Anna Riach Project Partners:
Other Project Staff: 
Project Aims and Overview:


1. To establish if certain host plant species are toxic to the European subspecies of P. rapae larvae.
2. To determine if toxicity is dependent on the stage of larvae


Some insect host plants have not evolved alongside the European subspecies of P. rapae. It is documented that other lepidoptera larvae do not perform well on some of these plant species and there is evidence that there is a large number of metabolites in one of the plants that transfer from the plant into the larvae without breaking down (Riach et al., unpublished). It is hypothesised that these metabolites are not broken down and therefore build up to become toxic. However, toxic effects of this plant have not been investigated.

Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277