Master project about insect plant interaction and plant protection

Published: 23 November 2017

Improving methyl jasmonate application on conifer seedlings against pine weevil damage.

Study system:

The pine weevil is the most important forest pest insect in Sweden. The adult weevil feeds on the stem of newly planted conifer seedlings and thereby cause losses for the forest industry of several million SEK each year. Nowadays seedlings get protected by either mechanical protections or pesticides. During the past years methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has been tested as an alternative to protect conifer seedlings. MeJA is a naturally occurring plant hormone which is involved in the induced defence system of conifer seedlings. By applying MeJA on the seedlings before they are exposed to pine weevils, damages are reduced. Thus it can potentially be developed into a more nature and human friendly alternative to pesticides.

Project description:

We have used MeJA in the past years in several research projects, but amount and concentration differed a lot between projects. This student project aims at testing different aspects of MeJA application on conifers to systematically assess how they influence the protection of the seedling against pine weevil damages. So the question is:

How does MeJA concentration and/or amount influence seedling protection?

You will conduct laboratory experiments during which you treat seedlings with MeJA and subsequently expose them to pine weevils. You will measure the damage caused by the pine weevils and hopefully be able to give us an answer to the above question.

Starting date:

spring 2018


 Frauke Fedderwitz, Department of Ecology, SLU Uppsala telephone: 018-672312; email:

Page editor: