The Center for Biological Control, CBC, met in Alnarp 4–5 October. The center has a new operations group this fall, and the meeting therefore started with seminars on biological control research.
Tomas Roslin, Chairman of the CBC Steering Group, opened the seminar with a few words about CBC's role as a hub for SLU's research on biological control issues. Thereafter, the Director Ingvar Sundh presented the Center's activities and the new researchers.
The researchers that work for CBC since the 1st of August are Ingvar Sundh (Director of CBC, Department of Molecular Sciences), Mattias Jonsson (Deputy director of CBC, Department of Ecology), Paul Becher (Department of Plant Protection Biology), Magnus Karlsson (Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology), Johan Stenberg (Department of Plant Protection Biology) and Maria Viketoft (The Department of Ecology). In addition, a communicator is working with the Centre, Cajsa Lithell.
Johan Stenberg talked about his research on biological control of harmful insects without weakening the own resistance properties of the crop. Johan works mainly with biological control in strawberry cultivation. Paul Becher's talk was about biological control through microbial signals and how to manipulate behaviors in pathogenic organisms.
Maria Viketoft talked about her research on nematode ecology and the interactions of these worms with other organisms in the field. Maria's upcoming work includes investigating nematodes that parasitize and kill harmful insects and nematodes eating harmful fungi. Magnus Karlsson explained how fungi can be used as biological pesticides in his talk. Magnus is particularly interested in the genomics and mechanisms of biological control of the fungus Clonostachys rosea.
Ingvar Sundh concluded the day by talking about his work in CBC on safety and regulation of biological control organisms. Mattias Jonsson should have talked about his research on food webs and biological control of agricultural pests, but was unfortunately unable to participate.
The 5th of October was spent on internal workshops and planning for the coming year.
– It has been fun to meet the whole operations group in person, and I look forward to CBC's efforts to continue stimulating research on biological control at SLU, says Ingvar Sundh.