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Dr Dinusha’s research is focused on natural products and organic synthesis. She plans to study about the synergistic effect between the pheromones of the insect pests and allelochemicals of the plants. Insect pheromones are biological small volatile molecules produced by insects. Allelochemicals are a subset of secondary metabolites, which are not required for metabolism of the allelopathic organism. It is known that the host plants produce allelochemicals which can attract the pests.
Dr Dinusha’s group will start with investigating the allelochemicals of brinjal plant, solanum melongena and the sex pheromones of leucinodes orbonalis, brinjal fruit and shoot borer (BFSB). Their objective is to identify and confirm the structures of the active compounds both present in brinjal plant and the pest (BFSB). Also we need to conduct field bioassays with plant extracts and the sex pheromones. Then they plan to synthesize the active compounds from both brinjal plant and the pest (BFSB). Finally to develop a pheromone based trap to control the pest BFSB in brinjal plant in Sri Lanka. They also plan to study this effect for other plants and the pests.