CHAP’s pesticide resistance diagnostics laboratory is based at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire. The laboratory works in close partnership with Fera at Sand Hutton to provide a national service advising on pest resistance and virulence management.

The laboratory’s main purpose is to investigate how insects, weeds and pathogen pests of commercially important crops develop resistance to pesticides, by searching for subtle changes in the genetic profiles of resistant pests that are not present in susceptible individuals. These genetic changes (or ‘bio-markers’) are then used to develop molecular diagnostic tests to help identify resistant populations of pests.We can track the development and/or spread of resistant pest strains in the UK via field samples sent to us by research institutes, farmers and industrial clients.

This laboratory can provide academics and industry with the equipment and expertise required to drive their innovative ideas related to agricultural pest control through to the market place, with the aim of delivering more effective and sustainable pest management strategies to farmers and breeders in the near future.

The lab at Rothamsted


Our services include:

  • farmers/agronomists can have effective control of major pests in an environmentally and economically friendly manner through assessment of how a pest population will respond to a pesticide using genetic diagnostic techniques before the pesticide has been applied.
  • agrichemical companies can investigate the underlying mechanisms of pest resistance towards their products, or even confirm the ability of their new product to control highly resistant pest populations.
  • academic institutions can incorporate some of our expertise and facilities into their next grant proposal related to agricultural pests.
  • plant breeders can find out why their once tolerant crop has suddenly become susceptible to a specific weed, insect or pathogen.
  • CHAP’S smart farming technologies can use this data to offer growers a national surveillance and risk forecasting service to determine risks from crop pathogens and pests across the UK.

 Current projects:

  • Our researchers are currently developing diagnostic techniques to identify pesticide-resistant Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle (CSFB) populations in the field, along with new methods of controlling this pest in the future.

Contact Details

For any further information about this capability or if you are interested in discussing a collaboration and/or a grant or commercially funded project, please contact or telephone  01904 462062