The world's largest aphid species found at Rothamsted Research

The giant willow aphid, Tuberolachnus salignus, has been found on the National Willow Collection

The willow aphid, Tuberolachnus salignus

The collection has been established at Rothamsted to conserve and study diverse types of willow used for basket making, cricket bats and more recently green bio-energy fuel. "These aphids can grow to a quarter of an inch long, making them a giant among aphids" says scientist Dr Ian Shield. "They have formed huge colonies on some of our willow species and we don't yet know how much harm they will do". By studying which strains of willow succumb to the aphid and which don't the scientists at Rothamsted hope to be able to identify strains of willow that could be useful for breeding aphid-resistant varieties of this useful plant

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For further information, please contact:
Professor Angela Karp (comms@rothamsted.ac.uk), Tel: +44 (0) 1582 938 855

About Rothamsted Research

We are the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for over 170 years. Our mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Our strength lies in the integrated, multidisciplinary approach to research in plant, insect and soil science.
Rothamsted Research is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

About BBSRC

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested £473M in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

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