The Gaia principle proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. In our laboratory today, we combine a highly qualified team of chemists, microbiologists, mycologists and entomologists, to uncover these secrets.
Today, businesses the world over are steering away from chemicals and choosing more sustainable alternatives. Sustainable business practises are becoming a norm. This makes it imperative for the global pest control and hygiene industry to offer smarter and more responsible solutions because that's what today's businesses need.
At Gaiagen, we are designing and developing new biological alternatives to ecologically toxic pesticides. Each day, our scientists closely observe, record and unearth new insights that help us collaborate with nature. Our cutting edge technology and dedicated expertise help us customise and deliver smart, effective and eco-sensitive pest management solutions.
Our goal – to offer strategies of pest management that are scientifically designed, to ensure regulation with a strong ecological conscience.
To spearhead a green revolution in the global pest control and hygiene industry by delivering biological solutions that are highly effective and safe for the environment.
To reorient the global pest control and hygiene industry away from harmful pesticides and towards the effective use of biological solutions with an ecological conscience.
Electrophysiology is a technique that quantitatively assesses the response of the olfactory system to odour stimuli. At Gaiagen, we measure these responses with our in-house Electroantennogram.
Electroantennography is usually performed by removing an antenna from the insect and inserting two chloride silver wires onto the two ends, then amplifying the voltage between them while applying an odour puff to see a deflection.
We apply this technique to screen insect pheromones by examining the responses to fractions of a compound mixture separated using gas chromatography.
Gas Chromatograph (GC)
At Gaiagen, we are equipped with a Gas Chromatograph that is an essential instrument for analysing the various components present in a sample. The analysis that the Gas Chromatograph performs is called gas chromatography.
A sample solution is first injected into the instrument. It then enters a stream which carries the sample into a separation tube in its gaseous state. The various compounds present in the sample can then be separated inside the tube.
Gas chromatography is also known as vapour-phase chromatography (VPC) or gas-liquid partition chromatography.
Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GCMS)
Our Gas Chromatograph - Mass Spectrometer merges the features of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyse compounds with relatively low molecular weights.
Once the compounds are separated by volatilising the sample using the Gas Spectrometer, they are ionised by the Mass Spectrometer. The ions are then separated on the basis of their mass-to-charge ratios.
When analysed, using the compound as a function, the graphical peaks are proportional to the corresponding compounds. This information is visually displayed and can be recorded on the computer.
High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
Our state-of-the-art laboratory is equipped with a High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph that separates, identifies and quantifies compounds in a sample as low as parts per trillion.
Pumps are used to pass pressurised solvents containing the sample through a column with a solid absorbent. Each compound interacts uniquely with the absorbent creating varied flow rates and are separated as they flow out of the column.
We use this technique to separate insect hormones and pheromones during our research and analyses.
Our facility is equipped with Y-Tube Olfactometers of varied sizes that test responses of various insects to plant volatiles.
An adult insect is released at the base of the Y-Tube. A gentle flow of air is passed through one fork of the Y-Tube, while an attractant/repellent is passed through the other fork. The insect walks upwind to the end of one of the forks.
We use this technique to understand and measure the effectiveness of an attractant or repellent.
We rely on Multi-Choice Olfactometers of numerous sizes to study the responses of the insect to multiple odours simultaneously.
Each arm of the Multi-Choice Olfactometer is connected too a different odour source. The insect being observed will respond most favourably to the odour that it most prefers or is attracted to.
This technique helps us understand and measure the effectiveness of multiple attractants or repellents.
The experimental chambers that are housed inside our facility are specifically designed to aid experiments with different types of insects taking into consideration their behaviors and by providing a uniform environment to produce harmonized results.
This chambers is created following standard testing chamber designs with necessary customisations to meet the requirements of specialised product evaluations and behaviour studies.
We study insect orientation and flight with regards to visual and odour stimulus using our wind tunnels.
The technique is applied to observe and study insect behaviour when exposed to pheromones or any other attractants. The infrared absorbing walls merged with the infrared LED illuminators makes tracking insects manageable in the dark.
The wind tunnel can also be used to track insects in the day. The wind tunnel also comes in a wide range of sizes depending on the insect being observed.
Our facility boasts of spacious and well equipped testing arenas where our scientists observe, study and find insights about a wide range of agricultural and urban insects.
The research that’s undertaken inside these testing arenas helps us develop entomological solutions that find an application in the agricultural, urban and industrial landscapes.