Professor Toby Bruce

Title: Professor of Insect Chemical Ecology
Phone: +44 (0)1782 734072
Email: t.j.a.bruce@keele.ac.uk
Location: Huxley Building : 169
Role: Leading Research in Chemical Ecology, Entomology and Plant-Insect Interactions; Teaching; Collaboration
Contacting me: E-mail me or try my office
bruce toby

Having always been fascinated by nature and the environment, I studied Biology at University College London. Through my studies I became aware that biology and ecology can play a vital role in safeguarding harvests from attack by pests. My undergraduate project was on insect pests of rice and their natural enemies in Malaysia. I completed an M.Sc. in Applied Entomology at Silwood Park, Imperial College London and a Ph.D. in Chemical Ecology at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. My PhD thesis was on the role of olfaction in host location by the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with lab studies in the UK and field studies in Israel and Pakistan.

Agriculture interests me because of the vital role it plays in global food security and the opportunities for reducing our environmental footprint through more efficient farming practices. I joined Rothamsted Research, an organisation that pioneered using science to benefit agriculture, as a Research Scientist in 2000. My role was to study agriculturally important insects, their interactions with their host plants and their natural enemies; seeking novel interventions that could improve pest management and reduce dependency on pesticides. For example, I helped to develop improved management of orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana, based on resistant wheat varieties and pheromone traps to rationalise insecticide use and evaluated transgenic wheat engineered to release the aphid alarm pheromone. We have had a very successful collaboration with scientists at icipe in Kenya.

orange wheat blossom midge

I obtained a scientific merit promotion to Senior Research Scientist at Rothamsted in 2007. I gained university teaching experience from guest lectures at several UK and European universities and enjoy teaching. I successfully supervised PhD students in outstanding and highly cited research. In 2012, I became Convenor of the Association of Applied Biologists Biocontrol and IPM group, a visiting Professor at the University of Greenwich and a visiting Lecturer at the University of Nottingham. In 2016, I became editor-in-chief of the journal Physiological Entomology and co-editor of Annals of Applied Biology.

In 2017, I was recruited by Keele University to build a new group within our expanding and thriving School of Life Sciences. I am very excited about this new opportunity to strengthen hypothesis driven research, geared towards improving food security by reducing crop losses to pests. I hope to inspire the next generation of researchers to tackle global challenges and push back the boundaries of science.

The newly formed Bruce group at Keele is conducting cutting-edge research on insect-host interactions and testing hypotheses to better understand how to sustainably manage pest species and conserve beneficial species. Our group is advancing science on major global pests of agriculture. The species we work with are notorious for their ability to evolve insecticide resistance and new sustainable but effective options for their management are urgently needed.

Research Projects

We currently have three main research projects:

  1. Enhancing crop diversity and ecosystem services to promote biological control of fall armyworm in smallholder cropping systems (BB/R020795/1)
  2. Chemical study of insect-plant interactions: a contribution to biorational control of crop pests (BB/R022755/1)
  3. Biological crop protection: a new 'slow down/speed up' strategy for aphid management (BB/R021708/1)

1. Enhancing crop diversity and ecosystem services to promote biological control of fall armywormin smallholder cropping systems (collaboration with icipe in Kenya)

fall armyworm

Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, biology and behaviour on different farmer-preferred crop varieties is being measured in bioassays to assess constitutive and induced resistance. Smallholder farmers in much of Africa practice mixed cropping. Thus, a Push-Pull system is being developed modelled along the polycropping nature of local farming systems, for which repellent intercrop (Push) and attractive trap crop (Pull) components are required. Candidate repellent intercrops are being tested for their ability to repel FAW moths, and include a range of African food legumes; while candidate attractive trap crops are being tested for their ability to attract the moths. Field sampling is being conducted to determine the key natural enemies that attack FAW and insects reared in the laboratory so that parasitoids emerging can be recorded. Field sampling of potential reservoir hosts (wild plants) is being conducted to determine their role in pest epidemiology and the possible ecosystem service they may provide by acting as habitat for natural enemies of the pest. To assess indirect defence, volatiles collected from infested plants are being tested in an olfactometer to determine if key predators and parasitoids prefer them. Volatiles from intercrops are being tested for attraction of natural enemies. For plants that have reduced feeding and growth rates of FAW larvae, secondary metabolites are being extracted by solvent washing and the collected extracts analysed by HPLC. Volatiles are being collected from plants that significantly repel or attract insects, or where a difference in moth oviposition preference is observed. Headspace samples of volatiles are being analysed by GC-EAG and GC-MS to identify bioactive compounds. Field trials are being conducted with crops with improved resistance to FAW grown with appropriate companion crops to support biological control by natural enemies. Co-design workshops are being held with participating farmers and trials are being held on their farms. The main postdoc researcher for this project at Keele is Dr Islam Sobhy.

2. Chemical study of insect-plant interactions: a contribution to biorational control of crop pests (collaboration with UFSCar and UNESP in Brazil)

New solutions for managing insect pests are urgently needed due to evolution of resistance to current insecticides. This project focuses on development and bioactivity testing of novel nanotech formulations of plant secondary metabolites that could provide new options for crop protection. The Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) group has strong preliminary data showing that nanotech formulations of certain plant flavonoids complexed with Mg (II) substantially reduce growth of insects. Preliminary experiments done by the Keele University (KU) group with PAA (poly(allylamine)) nanotech formulations of essential oils have shown highly significant repellent action, with greatly enhanced activity compared to conventionally formulated material. UK-Brazil collaboration would provide an ideal opportunity to strengthen this new and promising area of research. The project includes Workshops and exchange visits to build a research network between the groups. Both groups are sharing expertise and work together to create novel nanotech formulations of plant secondary metabolites (flavonoids such as Hesperidin and Naringenin, phenolic acids and essential oils). Parallel experiments are being conducted testing activity against selected insects, chosen due to their relevance to Brazilian agriculture and insecticide resistance challenges. Bioassays with Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, and peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae, are being conducted at KU; with whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, at São Paulo State University (UNESP), and with fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda at UFSCar. Antibiotic, antifeedant and repellent activity are being tested for using established methods. The experiments conducted in the pump-priming project are revealing the potential for use of nanotechnology to improve the formulation of plant secondary metabolites for use against insects. The project is benefiting from the expertise in the KU School of Pharmacy Co-I who has considerable expertise inevelopment of nanotech formulations for the medical sector. We are evaluating the extent to which low cost technologies already developed for medicines can be translated into the agricultural field. In addition to the programme of empirical research, we are conducting a literature review of the area and submit this to a high quality scientific journal as a contribution to knowledge. We think there is considerable potential for cross-fertilisation between the disciplines involved in the project (chemistry, medicine and entomology). This has potential to allow agricultural formulation technology to "leapfrog" into nanotechnology by using approaches already developed for Medicine. Furthermore, there are, of course, be insights gained by sharing insights with the Brazilian scientists who are at the forefront of the development of nanotechnology for crop protection. The project has considerable potential to generate much needed new tools for managing insect pests of crops. The main postdoc researcher for this project at Keele is Dr David Buss.

3. Biological crop protection: a new 'slow down/speed up' strategy for aphid management (collaboration with University of Warwick)

peach_potato aphid

This project will underpin the development of a 'slow down / speed up' IPM system for aphid pests of field crops that combines plant breeding and biological control, focusing on the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae. Our approach involves slowing down the growth rate of pests while speeding up the performance of their natural enemies. We are investigating the hypothesis that brassica genotypes with partial resistance that slows down aphid development makes the pest more susceptible to biological control agents including biopesticides and parasitoids. Studies have shown that defence responses in Arabidopsis against M. persicae are based around phytohormone signalling pathways and the phytoalexin camalexin. Expression analysis of gene homologues in Brassica accessions indicates that identifying partial resistance to M. persicae in Brassica crop breeding material is highly likely. The project explores how this partial host-plant resistance can be combined with biocontrol agents. The research has 5 components: (1) Candidate Brassica genotypes with potential resistance are be evaluated using a combination of transciptome analysis and phenotyping experiments. (2) The molecular basis for partial resistance to M. persicae are being investigated, informed by experiments that quantify aphid feeding and development on Brassica genotype breeding lines with aphid resistance markers. (3) Fungal biopesticides are being evaluated against M. persicae on resistant brassica genotypes and research are being done to quantify how biopesticide performance is affected by the fluctuating environmental conditions occurring in field crops. (4) The responses of parasitoids to volatiles from aphid-infested Brassica genotypes are being quantified and the role of cis-jasmone in parasitoid attraction is being elucidated. (5) Field experiments are then being done to measure aphid control on different Brassica genotypes following treatment with fungal biopesticides, parasitoids and cis-jasmone. The main postdoc researcher for this project at Keele is Dr Joe Roberts.

Earlier Research

You can hear about my research in my inaugural lecture here:
https://youtu.be/6AjoSOugkzk 

My scientific achievements include improving understanding of how insects use olfaction to recognise their host plants (Bruce, Wadhams & Woodcock, 2005; Bruce & Pickett 2011). I showed that host odour coding is usually via blends of widely occurring plant volatiles rather than compounds specific to their host and suggested a ‘coincidence detection’ hypothesis in which insects have very high spatio-temporal resolution of olfactory cues and use space and time to put the cues in context. An extreme example of this blend odour coding was when black bean aphid, Aphis fabae, was shown to be repelled by host plant volatiles when they were presented to it individually but repelled when they were presented as a blend (Webster et al 2010).

odour coding by insects

Understanding how plants react to biotic stress such as insect attack. In 2007, I hypothesised that epigenetic mechanisms could explain long-lived plant defence priming phenomena in which a plant can respond more quickly and strongly to subsequent exposure when exposed to a previous stress than a naïve plant (Bruce et al. 2007). This type of plant ‘stress memory’ seemed controversial at the time but in the last decade more evidence to support it has accumulated. My collaborative research with scientists in Kenya has advanced understanding of how maize plants respond to insect egg laying to release volatiles that attract natural enemies of the herbivore. We initially found that certain farmer preferred landraces of maize respond to stemborer insect egg laying: these maize varieties produce different odours, after insect egg laying (Tamiru et al., 2011). The changes in smell repel the pest herbivore (stemborer moths) and attract natural enemies of this devastating pest. The natural enemies (parasitic wasps) use the smells to locate plants colonised by pest and then parasitise their eggs and larvae (immature caterpillars), thus preventing the crops from being damaged. In a larger project, which I obtained funding for, we found this trait also exists in improved maize varieties although it is much rarer than in landraces (Tamiru, Khan and Bruce, 2015).

stemborer eggs

I have been involved in numerous studies with a common theme of biological interactions. Recent developments have included showing that grain aphids can facilitate Fusarium head blight disease in wheat (Drakulic et al. 2017) and that virus infection of tomato plants can make them more attractive to buzz-pollinators (Groen et al. 2016). I have an excellent publication record with over 100 papers in peer-reviewed Journals, including PNAS, Ecology Letters, Nature Climate Change and Trends in Plant Science. I have been invited as a keynote speaker to numerous scientific meetings, for example, the Plant Volatiles Gordon Conference in 2016. I have developed and mentored talent especially in PhD students and postdoc fellows, several of whom have achieved highly cited publications. I am keen on outreach and developed a smartphone App for farmers to report crop protection targets and obtain management recommendations for pests, weeds and diseases.

high ranking targets as rated by farmers in UK

Bruce, Toby JA, and John A. Pickett. (2011) Perception of plant volatile blends by herbivorous insects–finding the right mix. Phytochemistry 72: 1605-1611.

Bruce, Toby JA, et al. (2007) Stressful “memories” of plants: evidence and possible mechanisms. Plant Science 173: 603-608.

Bruce, Toby JA, Lester J. Wadhams, and Christine M. Woodcock (2005) Insect host location: a volatile situation. Trends in plant science 10: 269-274.

Drakulic, J., T. J. A. Bruce, and R. V. Ray. (2017) Direct and host‐mediated interactions between Fusarium pathogens and herbivorous arthropods in cereals Plant Pathology 66.1: 3-13.

Groen, Simon C., et al. (2016) Virus infection of plants alters pollinator preference: A payback for susceptible hosts? PLoS Pathog 12: e1005790.

Michelmore et al. (2017) Foundational and Translational Research Opportunities to Improve Plant Health. MPMI 30: 515 https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-01-17-0010-CR

Tamiru, Amanuel, et al. (2011) Maize landraces recruit egg and larval parasitoids in response to egg deposition by a herbivore. Ecology Letters 14: 1075-1083.

Tamiru, Amanuel, Zeyaur R. Khan, and Toby JA Bruce. "New directions for improving crop resistance to insects by breeding for egg induced defence." Current Opinion in Insect Science 9 (2015): 51-55.

Webster, Ben et al. (2010) Volatiles functioning as host cues in a blend become nonhost cues when presented alone to the black bean aphid Animal Behaviour 79: 451-457.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My full publication list is available via Google Scholar: https://goo.gl/ZK6F0Z

Selected Publications

  • Drizou F, Bruce TJA, Ray RV, Graham NS. 2018. Infestation by Myzus persicae Increases Susceptibility of Brassica napus cv. "Canard" to Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1. Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 9, Article ARTN 1903. link> doi> full text>
  • Mwando NL, Tamiru A, Nyasani JO, Obonyo MAO, Caulfield JC, Bruce TJA, Subramanian S. 2018. Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus Induces Changes in Host Plant Volatiles that Attract Vector Thrips Species. J Chem Ecol, vol. 44(7-8), 681-689. link> doi> full text>
  • Rose DC and Bruce TJA. 2018. Finding the right connection: what makes a successful decision support system?. Food Energy Secur, vol. 7(1), e00123. link> doi> full text>
  • Sobhy IS, Bruce TJ, Turlings TC. 2018. Priming of cowpea volatile emissions with defense inducers enhances the plant's attractiveness to parasitoids when attacked by caterpillars. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 74(4), 966-977. link> doi> full text>
  • Pickett JA, Bruce TJA, Glinwood RT. 2017. Chemical Ecology. In Aphids as Crop Pests. van Emden HF and Harrington R (Eds.). (2nd ed.). Wallingford: CABI.

Full Publications List show

Journal Articles

  • Drizou F, Bruce TJA, Ray RV, Graham NS. 2018. Infestation by Myzus persicae Increases Susceptibility of Brassica napus cv. "Canard" to Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1. Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 9, Article ARTN 1903. link> doi> full text>
  • Mwando NL, Tamiru A, Nyasani JO, Obonyo MAO, Caulfield JC, Bruce TJA, Subramanian S. 2018. Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus Induces Changes in Host Plant Volatiles that Attract Vector Thrips Species. J Chem Ecol, vol. 44(7-8), 681-689. link> doi> full text>
  • Rose DC and Bruce TJA. 2018. Finding the right connection: what makes a successful decision support system?. Food Energy Secur, vol. 7(1), e00123. link> doi> full text>
  • Sobhy IS, Bruce TJ, Turlings TC. 2018. Priming of cowpea volatile emissions with defense inducers enhances the plant's attractiveness to parasitoids when attacked by caterpillars. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 74(4), 966-977. link> doi> full text>
  • Bruce TJA, Smart LE, Birch ANE, Blok VC, MacKenzie K, Guerrieri E, Cascone P, Luna E, Ton J. 2017. Prospects for plant defence activators and biocontrol in IPM - Concepts and lessons learnt so far. CROP PROTECTION, vol. 97, 128-134. link> doi>
  • Jayanthi PDK, Kempraj V, Aurade RM, Bruce TJA. 2017. Evaluation of synthetic oviposition stimulants to enhance egg collection of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae). JOURNAL OF PEST SCIENCE, vol. 90(3), 781-786. link> doi>
  • Drizou F, Graham NS, Bruce TJA, Ray RV. 2017. Development of high-throughput methods to screen disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1 in oilseed rape. Plant Methods, vol. 13, 45. link> doi> full text>
  • Tungadi T, Groen SC, Murphy AM, Pate AE, Iqbal J, Bruce TJA, Cunniffe NJ, Carr JP. Cucumber mosaic virus and its 2b protein alter emission of host volatile organic compounds but not aphid vector settling in tobacco. Virol J, vol. 14(1), 91. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Bruce TJA, Richter A, Woodcock CM, Midega CAO, Degenhardt J, Kelemu S, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. A maize landrace that emits defense volatiles in response to herbivore eggs possesses a strongly inducible terpene synthase gene. Ecol Evol, vol. 7(8), 2835-2845. link> doi>
  • Drakulic J, Bruce TJA, Ray RV. 2017. Direct and host-mediated interactions between Fusarium pathogens and herbivorous arthropods in cereals. PLANT PATHOLOGY, vol. 66(1), 3-13. link> doi>
  • Sun Y, Huang X, Ning Y, Jing W, Bruce TJA, Qi F, Xu Q, Wu K, Zhang Y, Guo Y. 2017. TPS46, a Rice Terpene Synthase Conferring Natural Resistance to Bird Cherry-Oat Aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus). Front Plant Sci, vol. 8, 110. link> doi>
  • Drakulic J, Kahar MH, Ajigboye O, Bruce T, Ray RV. 2016. Contrasting Roles of Deoxynivalenol and Nivalenol in Host-Mediated Interactions between Fusarium graminearum and Sitobion avenae. TOXINS, vol. 8(12). link> doi>
  • Ogah EO, Smart LE, Woodcock CM, Caulfield JC, Birkett MA, Pickett JA, Nwilene FE, Bruce TJ. 2016. Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of female African rice gall midge, Orseolia oryzivora Harris and Gagné, to host plant volatiles. Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol. 43(1), 13-16. link> doi>
  • Drakulic J, Ajigboye O, Swarup R, Bruce T, Ray RV. 2016. Aphid Infestation Increases Fusarium langsethiae and T-2 and HT-2 Mycotoxins in Wheat. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, vol. 82(22), 6548-6556. link> doi>
  • Groen SC, Jiang S, Murphy AM, Cunniffe NJ, Westwood JH, Davey MP, Bruce TJA, Caulfield JC, Furzer OJ, Reed A, Robinson SI, Miller E, Davis CN, Pickett JA, Whitney HM, Glover BJ, Carr JP. Virus Infection of Plants Alters Pollinator Preference: A Payback for Susceptible Hosts?. PLoS Pathog, vol. 12(8), e1005790. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2016. The CROPROTECT project and wider opportunities to improve farm productivity through web-based knowledge exchange. Food Energy Secur, vol. 5(2), 89-96. link> doi>
  • Lamb A, Green R, Bateman I, Broadmeadow M, Bruce T, Burney J, Carey P, Chadwick D, Crane E, Field R, Goulding K, Griffiths H, Hastings A, Kasoar T, Kindred D, Phalan B, Pickett J, Smith P, Wall E, Ermgassen EKHJZ, Balmford A. 2016. The potential for land sparing to offset greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, vol. 6(5), 488-492. link> doi>
  • Mutyambai DM, Bruce TJA, van den Berg J, Midega CAO, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2016. An Indirect Defence Trait Mediated through Egg-Induced Maize Volatiles from Neighbouring Plants. PLoS One, vol. 11(7), e0158744. link> doi>
  • Midega CAO, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2015. Ecological management of cereal stemborers in African smallholder agriculture through behavioural manipulation. Ecol Entomol, vol. 40(Suppl Suppl 1), 70-81. link> doi>
  • Midega CAO, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA, Pittchar JO, Murage A, Khan ZR. 2015. Climate-adapted companion cropping increases agricultural productivity in East Africa. FIELD CROPS RESEARCH, vol. 180, 118-125. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Aradottir GI, Smart LE, Martin JL, Caulfield JC, Doherty A, Sparks CA, Woodcock CM, Birkett MA, Napier JA, Jones HD, Pickett JA. 2015. The first crop plant genetically engineered to release an insect pheromone for defence. Sci Rep, vol. 5, 11183. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Khan ZR, Bruce TJA. 2015. New directions for improving crop resistance to insects by breeding for egg induced defence. CURRENT OPINION IN INSECT SCIENCE, vol. 9, 51-55. link> doi>
  • Drakulic J, Caulfield J, Woodcock C, Jones SPT, Linforth R, Bruce TJA, Ray RV. 2015. Sharing a Host Plant (Wheat [Triticum aestivum]) Increases the Fitness of Fusarium graminearum and the Severity of Fusarium Head Blight but Reduces the Fitness of Grain Aphids (Sitobion avenae). Appl Environ Microbiol, vol. 81(10), 3492-3501. link> doi>
  • Zhang Y, Li Z-X, Yu X-D, Fan J, Pickett JA, Jones HD, Zhou J-J, Birkett MA, Caulfield J, Napier JA, Zhao G-Y, Cheng X-G, Shi Y, Bruce TJA, Xia L-Q. 2015. Molecular characterization of two isoforms of a farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase gene in wheat and their roles in sesquiterpene synthesis and inducible defence against aphid infestation. New Phytol, vol. 206(3), 1101-1115. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Bruce TJA, Woodcock CM, Birkett MA, Midega CAO, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2015. Chemical cues modulating electrophysiological and behavioural responses in the parasitic wasp Cotesia sesamiae. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, vol. 93(4), 281-287. link> doi>
  • Mutyambai DM, Bruce TJA, Midega CAO, Woodcock CM, Caulfield JC, Van Den Berg J, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2015. Responses of parasitoids to volatiles induced by Chilo partellus oviposition on teosinte, a wild ancestor of maize. J Chem Ecol, vol. 41(4), 323-329. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2015. Interplay between insects and plants: dynamic and complex interactions that have coevolved over millions of years but act in milliseconds. J Exp Bot, vol. 66(2), 455-465. link> doi>
  • Wang D, Liu Q, Jones HD, Bruce T, Xia L. 2014. Comparative transcriptomic analyses revealed divergences of two agriculturally important aphid species. BMC GENOMICS, vol. 15, Article ARTN 1023. link> doi>
  • Mutyambai DM, Midega CAO, Bruce TJA, van den Berg J, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2014. Behaviour and biology of Chilo partellus on maize landraces. ENTOMOLOGIA EXPERIMENTALIS ET APPLICATA, vol. 153(2), 170-181. link> doi>
  • Babikova Z, Gilbert L, Randall KC, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA, Johnson D. 2014. Increasing phosphorus supply is not the mechanism by which arbuscular mycorrhiza increase attractiveness of bean (Vicia faba) to aphids. J Exp Bot, vol. 65(18), 5231-5241. link> doi>
  • Chidawanyika F, Midega CAO, Bruce TJA, Duncan F, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2014. Oviposition acceptance and larval development of Chilo partellus stemborers in drought-stressed wild and cultivated grasses of East Africa. ENTOMOLOGIA EXPERIMENTALIS ET APPLICATA, vol. 151(3), 209-217. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2014. Glucosinolates in oilseed rape: secondary metabolites that influence interactions with herbivores and their natural enemies. ANNALS OF APPLIED BIOLOGY, vol. 164(3), 348-353. link> doi>
  • Khan ZR, Midega CAO, Pittchar JO, Murage AW, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA. 2014. Achieving food security for one million sub-Saharan African poor through push-pull innovation by 2020. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, vol. 369(1639), 20120284. link> doi>
  • Pickett JA, Aradottír GI, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Hooper AM, Midega CAO, Jones HD, Matthes MC, Napier JA, Pittchar JO, Smart LE, Woodcock CM, Khan ZR. 2014. Delivering sustainable crop protection systems via the seed: exploiting natural constitutive and inducible defence pathways. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, vol. 369(1639), 20120281. link> doi>
  • Babikova Z, Gilbert L, Bruce T, Dewhirst SY, Pickett JA, Johnson D. 2014. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and aphids interact by changing host plant quality and volatile emission. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, vol. 28(2), 375-385. link> doi>
  • Kamala Jayanthi PD, Kempraj V, Aurade RM, Venkataramanappa RK, Nandagopal B, Verghese A, Bruce TJA. 2014. Specific volatile compounds from mango elicit oviposition in gravid Bactrocera dorsalis females. J Chem Ecol, vol. 40(3), 259-266. link> doi>
  • Midega CAO, Salifu D, Bruce TJ, Pittchar J, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2014. Cumulative effects and economic benefits of intercropping maize with food legumes on Striga hermonthica infestation. FIELD CROPS RESEARCH, vol. 155, 144-152. link> doi>
  • Pagadala Damodaram KJ, Kempraj V, Aurade RM, Venkataramanappa RK, Nandagopal B, Verghese A, Bruce T. 2014. Oviposition site-selection by Bactrocera dorsalis is mediated through an innate recognition template tuned to γ-octalactone. PLoS One, vol. 9(1), e85764. link> doi>
  • Babikova Z, Johnson D, Bruce T, Pickett J, Gilbert L. 2014. Underground allies: how and why do mycelial networks help plants defend themselves?: What are the fitness, regulatory, and practical implications of defence-related signaling between plants via common mycelial networks?. Bioessays, vol. 36(1), 21-26. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2014. Variation in plant responsiveness to defense elicitors caused by genotype and environment. Front Plant Sci, vol. 5, 349. link> doi>
  • Babikova Z, Johnson D, Bruce T, Pickett JA, Gilbert L. 2013. How rapid is aphid-induced signal transfer between plants via common mycelial networks?. Commun Integr Biol, vol. 6(6), e25904. link> doi>
  • Smart LE, Martin JL, Limpalaër M, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA. 2013. Responses of herbivore and predatory mites to tomato plants exposed to jasmonic acid seed treatment. J Chem Ecol, vol. 39(10), 1297-1300. link> doi>
  • Babikova Z, Gilbert L, Bruce TJA, Birkett M, Caulfield JC, Woodcock C, Pickett JA, Johnson D. 2013. Underground signals carried through common mycelial networks warn neighbouring plants of aphid attack. Ecol Lett, vol. 16(7), 835-843. link> doi>
  • Tariq M, Wright DJ, Bruce TJA, Staley JT. 2013. Drought and root herbivory interact to alter the response of above-ground parasitoids to aphid infested plants and associated plant volatile signals. PLoS One, vol. 8(7), e69013. link> doi>
  • Oluwafemi S, Dewhirst SY, Veyrat N, Powers S, Bruce TJA, Caulfield JC, Pickett JA, Birkett MA. 2013. Priming of Production in Maize of Volatile Organic Defence Compounds by the Natural Plant Activator cis-Jasmone. PLoS One, vol. 8(6), e62299. link> doi>
  • Bruce T. 2012. Seeds of controversy. NEW SCIENTIST, vol. 214(2869), 32. link>
  • Hegde M, Oliveira JN, da Costa JG, Loza-Reyes E, Bleicher E, Santana AEG, Caulfield JC, Mayon P, Dewhirst SY, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA, Birkett MA. 2012. Aphid antixenosis in cotton is activated by the natural plant defence elicitor cis-jasmone. Phytochemistry, vol. 78, 81-88. link> doi>
  • Yu X-D, Pickett J, Ma Y-Z, Bruce T, Napier J, Jones HD, Xia L-Q. 2012. Metabolic Engineering of Plant-derived (E)-ss-farnesene Synthase Genes for a Novel Type of Aphid-resistant Genetically Modified Crop Plants. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE PLANT BIOLOGY, vol. 54(5), 282-299. link> doi>
  • Jayanthi PDK, Woodcock CM, Caulfield J, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA. 2012. Isolation and identification of host cues from mango, Mangifera indica, that attract gravid female oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis. J Chem Ecol, vol. 38(4), 361-369. link> doi>
  • Pickett JA, Ardottir GI, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Chamberlain K, Khan ZR, Midega CAO, Smart LE, Woodcock CM. 2012. Aspects of insect chemical ecology: exploitation of reception and detection as tools for deception of pests and beneficial insects. PHYSIOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY, vol. 37(1), 2-9. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Bruce TJA, Midega CAO, Woodcock CM, Birkett MA, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2012. Oviposition induced volatile emissions from African smallholder farmers' maize varieties. J Chem Ecol, vol. 38(3), 231-234. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Getu E, Jembere B, Bruce T. 2012. Effect of temperature and relative humidity on the development and fecundity of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). BULLETIN OF ENTOMOLOGICAL RESEARCH, vol. 102(1), 9-15. link> doi>
  • Luna E, Bruce TJA, Roberts MR, Flors V, Ton J. 2012. Next-generation systemic acquired resistance. Plant Physiol, vol. 158(2), 844-853. link> doi>
  • Lebesa LN, Khan ZR, Krueger K, Bruce TJA, Hassanali A, Pickett JA. 2012. Farmers' knowledge and perceptions of blister beetles, Hycleus spp. (Coleoptera: Meloidae), as pest herbivores of Desmodium legumes in western Kenya. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PEST MANAGEMENT, vol. 58(2), 165-174. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2012. GM as a route for delivery of sustainable crop protection. J Exp Bot, vol. 63(2), 537-541. link> doi>
  • Tamiru A, Bruce TJA, Woodcock CM, Caulfield JC, Midega CAO, Ogol CKPO, Mayon P, Birkett MA, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2011. Maize landraces recruit egg and larval parasitoids in response to egg deposition by a herbivore. Ecol Lett, vol. 14(11), 1075-1083. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Martin JL, Smart LE, Pickett JA. 2011. Development of semiochemical attractants for monitoring bean seed beetle, Bruchus rufimanus. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 67(10), 1303-1308. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA and Pickett JA. 2011. Perception of plant volatile blends by herbivorous insects--finding the right mix. Phytochemistry, vol. 72(13), 1605-1611. link> doi>
  • Lebesa LN, Khan ZR, Hassanali A, Pickett JA, Bruce TJA, Skellern M, Krueger K. 2011. Responses of the blister beetle Hycleus apicicornis to visual stimuli. PHYSIOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY, vol. 36(3), 220-229. link> doi>
  • Hegde M, Oliveira JN, da Costa JG, Bleicher E, Santana AEG, Bruce TJA, Caulfield J, Dewhirst SY, Woodcock CM, Pickett JA, Birkett MA. 2011. Identification of semiochemicals released by cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, upon infestation by the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii. J Chem Ecol, vol. 37(7), 741-750. link> doi>
  • Björkman M, Klingen I, Birch ANE, Bones AM, Bruce TJA, Johansen TJ, Meadow R, Mølmann J, Seljåsen R, Smart LE, Stewart D. 2011. Phytochemicals of Brassicaceae in plant protection and human health--influences of climate, environment and agronomic practice. Phytochemistry, vol. 72(7), 538-556. link> doi>
  • Matthes M, Bruce T, Chamberlain K, Pickett J, Napier J. 2011. Emerging roles in plant defense for cis-jasmone-induced cytochrome P450 CYP81D11. Plant Signal Behav, vol. 6(4), 563-565. link> doi>
  • Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA. 2011. Repellent activity of Nepeta grandiflora and Nepeta clarkei (Lamiaceae) against the cereal aphid, Sitobion avenae (Homoptera: Aphididae) (vol 3, pg 139, 2010). PHYTOCHEMISTRY LETTERS, vol. 4(1), 57. link> doi>
  • Khan Z, Midega C, Pittchar J, Pickett J, Bruce T. 2011. Push-pull technology: a conservation agriculture approach for integrated management of insect pests, weeds and soil health in Africa UK government's Foresight Food and Farming Futures project. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY, vol. 9(1), 162-170. link> doi>
  • Oluwafemi S, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA, Ton J, Birkett MA. 2011. Behavioral responses of the leafhopper, Cicadulina storeyi China, a major vector of maize streak virus, to volatile cues from intact and leafhopper-damaged maize. J Chem Ecol, vol. 37(1), 40-48. link> doi>
  • Padmaja PG, Woodcock CM, Bruce TJA. 2010. Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of sorghum shoot fly, Atherigona soccata, to sorghum volatiles. J Chem Ecol, vol. 36(12), 1346-1353. link> doi>
  • Khan ZR, Midega CAO, Bruce TJA, Hooper AM, Pickett JA. 2010. Exploiting phytochemicals for developing a 'push-pull' crop protection strategy for cereal farmers in Africa. J Exp Bot, vol. 61(15), 4185-4196. link> doi>
  • Matthes MC, Bruce TJA, Ton J, Verrier PJ, Pickett JA, Napier JA. 2010. The transcriptome of cis-jasmone-induced resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana and its role in indirect defence. Planta, vol. 232(5), 1163-1180. link> doi>
  • Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Pickett JA. 2010. Repellent activity of Nepeta grandiflora and Nepeta clarkei (Lamiaceae) against the cereal aphid, Sitobion avenae (Homoptera: Aphididae). PHYTOCHEMISTRY LETTERS, vol. 3(3), 139-142. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Midega CAO, Birkett MA, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2010. Is quality more important than quantity? Insect behavioural responses to changes in a volatile blend after stemborer oviposition on an African grass. Biol Lett, vol. 6(3), 314-317. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA. 2010. Tackling the threat to food security caused by crop pests in the new millennium. FOOD SECURITY, vol. 2(2), 133-141. link> doi>
  • Webster B, Bruce T, Pickett J, Hardie J. 2010. Volatiles functioning as host cues in a blend become nonhost cues when presented alone to the black bean aphid. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, vol. 79(2), 451-457. link> doi>
  • Ukeh DA, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Allan EJ, Pickett JA, Luntz AJM. 2010. Behavioural responses of the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, to host (stored-grain) and non-host plant volatiles. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 66(1), 44-50. link> doi>
  • Webster B, Gezan S, Bruce T, Hardie J, Pickett J. 2010. Between plant and diurnal variation in quantities and ratios of volatile compounds emitted by Vicia faba plants. PHYTOCHEMISTRY, vol. 71(1), 81-89. link> doi>
  • Midega CAO, Khan ZR, Van den Berg J, Ogol CKPO, Bruce TJ, Pickett JA. 2009. Non-target effects of the 'push-pull' habitat management strategy: Parasitoid activity and soil fauna abundance. CROP PROTECTION, vol. 28(12), 1045-1051. link> doi>
  • Mendesil E, Bruce TJA, Woodcock CM, Caulfield JC, Seyoum E, Pickett JA. 2009. Semiochemicals used in host location by the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei. J Chem Ecol, vol. 35(8), 944-950. link> doi>
  • Whitney HM, Chittka L, Bruce TJA, Glover BJ. 2009. Conical epidermal cells allow bees to grip flowers and increase foraging efficiency. Curr Biol, vol. 19(11), 948-953. link> doi>
  • Webster B, Bruce T, Dufour S, Birkemeyer C, Birkett M, Hardie J, Pickett J. 2008. Identification of volatile compounds used in host location by the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, vol. 34(9), 1153-1161. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Matthes MC, Chamberlain K, Woodcock CM, Mohib A, Webster B, Smart LE, Birkett MA, Pickett JA, Napier JA. 2008. cis-Jasmone induces Arabidopsis genes that affect the chemical ecology of multitrophic interactions with aphids and their parasitoids. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 105(12), 4553-4558. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Matthes MC, Napier JA, Pickett JA. 2007. Stressful "memories" of plants: Evidence and possible mechanisms. PLANT SCIENCE, vol. 173(6), 603-608. link> doi>
  • Deswarte FEI, Clark JH, Wilson AJ, Hardy JJE, Marriott R, Chahal SP, Jackson C, Heslop G, Birkett M, Bruce TJ, Whiteley G. 2007. Toward an integrated straw-based biorefinery. BIOFUELS BIOPRODUCTS & BIOREFINING-BIOFPR, vol. 1(4), 245-254. link> doi>
  • Pickett JA, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Chamberlain K, Gordon-Weeks R, Matthes MC, Napier JA, Smart LE, Woodcock CM. 2007. Developments in aspects of ecological phytochemistry: the role of cis-jasmone in inducible defence systems in plants. Phytochemistry, vol. 68(22-24), 2937-2945. link> doi>
  • Bayram A, Gueltekin A, Bruce TJ, Gezan S. 2007. Factors associated with mortality of the overwintering generation of Sesamia nonagrioides under field conditions. PHYTOPARASITICA, vol. 35(5), 490-506. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA and Pickett JA. 2007. Plant defence signalling induced by biotic attacks. Curr Opin Plant Biol, vol. 10(4), 387-392. link> doi>
  • Pickett JA, Birkett MA, Moraes MCB, Bruce TJA, Chamberlain K, Gordon-Weeks R, Matthes MC, Napier JA, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ, Woodcock CM. 2007. cis-Jasmone as allelopathic agent in inducing plant defence. ALLELOPATHY JOURNAL, vol. 19(1), 109-117. link>
  • Bruce TJA, Hooper AM, Ireland L, Jones OT, Martin JL, Smart LE, Oakley J, Wadhams LJ. 2007. Development of a pheromone trap monitoring system for orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana, in the UK. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 63(1), 49-56. link> doi>
  • Beale MH, Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Chamberlain K, Field LM, Huttly AK, Martin JL, Parker R, Phillips AL, Pickett JA, Prosser IM, Shewry PR, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ, Woodcock CM, Zhang Y. 2006. Aphid alarm pheromone produced by transgenic plants affects aphid and parasitoid behavior. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 103(27), 10509-10513. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJ, Birkett MA, Blande J, Hooper AM, Martin JL, Khambay B, Prosser I, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ. 2005. Response of economically important aphids to components of Hemizygia petiolata essential oil. Pest Manag Sci, vol. 61(11), 1115-1121. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Wadhams LJ, Woodcock CM. 2005. Insect host location: a volatile situation. Trends Plant Sci, vol. 10(6), 269-274. link> doi>
  • Birkett MA, Bruce TJA, Martin JL, Smart LE, Oakley J, Wadhams LJ. 2004. Responses of female orange wheat Blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana, to wheat panicle volatiles. J Chem Ecol, vol. 30(7), 1319-1328. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJA, Martin JL, Pickett JA, Pye BJ, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ. 2003. cis-Jasmone treatment induces resistance in wheat plants against the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) (Homoptera: Aphididae). Pest Manag Sci, vol. 59(9), 1031-1036. link> doi>
  • Bruce TJ and Cork A. 2001. Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of female Helicoverpa armigera to compounds identified in flowers of African marigold, Tagetes erecta. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, vol. 27(6), 1119-1131. link> doi>

Chapters

  • Pickett JA, Bruce TJA, Glinwood RT. 2017. Chemical Ecology. In Aphids as Crop Pests. van Emden HF and Harrington R (Eds.). (2nd ed.). Wallingford: CABI.

Other

  • Tamiru A, Bruce TJA, Midega CAO, Ogol CKPO, Pickett JA, Khan ZR. 2011. Egg deposition elicits Brachiaria plants to produce defence signals that attract natural enemies antagonistic to a major cereal pest. CHEMICAL SENSES (vol. 36, pp. E68-E69). link>
  • Hooper AM, Khan ZR, Torto B, Birkett MA, Bruce TJ, Pickett JA. 2010. EXPLOITING PHYTOCHEMICAL DIVERSITY TO CONTROL PESTS OF AGRICULTURE AND VECTORS OF HUMAN AND ANIMAL DISEASE. ASPECTS OF AFRICAN BIODIVERSITY (pp. 43-48). link>
  • Pickett JA, Bruce TJA, Chamberlain K, Hassanali A, Khan ZR, Matthes MC, Napier JA, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ, Woodcock CM. 2006. Plant volatiles yielding new ways to exploit plant defence. CHEMICAL ECOLOGY: FROM GENE TO ECOSYSTEM (vol. 16, pp. 161-+). link>
  • Bruce TJ, Martin JL, Pye BJ, Smart LE, Wadhams LJ, BCPC. 2002. Semiochemicals for the control of cereal pests. BCPC CONFERENCE - PESTS & DISEASES 2002, VOLS 1 AND 2 (pp. 685-690). link>

I am responsible for lecturing on nine modules and am currently supervising five student projects. I am a member of the Life Sciences Teaching Team and Research Committee. Prospective PhD students, please email me your CV and details of any funding you may have found.

  • PhD supervisor – currently one student: Jamin Ali
  • PhD viva examiner (done 5 in the last year)
  • Project supervisor for LSC 30045 Double experimental and LSC 30048 Single experimental:

I am Module Manager for LSC 20062 “Living Together” and lecture on the following courses:

  • LSC 10053 Animal Behaviour
  • LSC 10054 Plants
  • LSC 10056 Chemistry for Bioscience
  • LSC 20056 Research and Analytical Skills
  • LSC 20062 Living Together
  • LSC 20074 Current Topics in Biology
  • LSC-30003 Applied Insect Ecology
  • LSC-30036 Human Parasitology
  • Salford MSc: Vector Biology and control

why study insect-plant interactions

Students may like to know the purpose of my subject area: Ensuring crop health by better managing pests not only safeguards harvests but also reduces the environmental footprint of farming by allowing more efficient crop production. There is fascinating science in understanding the complex biological interactions between insects and other species.