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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

John Vandenberg
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John D. Vandenberg
Research Entomologist and Lead Scientist,
USDA-ARS-BioIPM, Insect Pathology Program

Adjunct Professor, Department of Entomology
Cornell University

607-255-2456 (Voice)
607-255-1132 (Fax)








Ph.D. (Entomology)

M.S. (Entomology)

B.S. (Natural Resources)


Oregon State University

University of Maine

University of Michigan








Post-Doctoral Associate, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY

Research Entomologist, USDA ARS Beneficial Insects Lab., Beltsville, MD

Research Leader and Supervisory Research Entomologist, USDA ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, Logan, UT

Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Research Entomologist and Lead Scientist, USDA ARS Bio-IPM Research Unit, Ithaca, NY

Adjunct Professor, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


The goal of my research is to develop an understanding of insect disease and accomplish effective deployment of fungi for biocontrol of selected insect pests. Specific research areas include biotic and abiotic factors regulating infection, disease development, host specificity and resistance, and factors governing susceptibility to fungal pathogens.  Objectives for the next 5 years are to determine conditions under which insects are susceptible to fungal infection and mechanisms by which they become infected. Objectives for team research include evaluating strains of fungi for control of pests, identifying genetic components of fungal virulence, determining factors influencing fungal spore survival, and optimizing fungal delivery to targets. Results will be used in field trials to determine the best means to incorporate fungi into pest management systems. Target insects include pests of greenhouse, nurseries and field crops and selected invasive pests.

Recent Publications

Meadow, R., Vandenberg, J. D., and Shelton, A. M. Exchange of inoculum of Beauveria bassiana (Hyphomycetes) between adult flies of the cabbage maggot, Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae). Biocontrol Sci. Technol. 10: 479-485. 2000.


Hajek, A. E., Wraight, S. P., and Vandenberg, J. D. Control of arthropods using pathogenic fungi. In Exploiting Filamentous Fungi. (S. B. Pointing and K. D. Hyde, eds.) Fungal Diversity Press, Hong Kong. Pages 309-347. 2000. (Book Chapter)


Vandenberg, J. D., Sandvol, L. E., Jaronski, S. T., Jackson, M. A., Souza, E. J., and Halbert, S. E. Efficacy of fungi for control of Russian wheat aphid in irrigated wheat. Southwestern Entomologist 26: 73-85. 2001.


Fernandez, S., Groden, E., Vandenberg, J. D. and Furlong, M. J. The effect of mode of exposure to Beauveria bassiana on conidia acquisition and host mortality of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 77: 217-226. 2001.


Altre, J. A., and Vandenberg, J. D. Factors influencing the infectivity of isolates of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus against diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 78: 31-36. 2001.


Altre, J. A., and Vandenberg, J. D. Penetration of cuticle and proliferation in hemolymph by Paecilomyces fumosoroseus isolates that differ in virulence against lepidopteran larvae. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 78: 81-86. 2001.


Altre, J. A., and Vandenberg, J. D. Comparison of blastospores of two Paecilomyces fumosoroseus isolates: in vitro traits and virulence when injected into lepidopteran and hymenopteran larvae. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 78: 170-175. 2001.


Vandenberg, J. D. The Future of Scientific Publications: One Scientist’s Perspective. VIIIth International Colloquium on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control. Pages 141-142. 2002. (Proceedings)


Pell, J. K., and Vandenberg, J. D. Interactions among the Russian wheat aphid, Paecilomyces fumosoroseus and the convergent ladybird, Hippodamia convergens. Biocontrol Sci. Technol. 12: 217-224. 2002.


Tamez-Guerra, P., McGuire, M. R., Becnel, J. J., Behle, R. W. and Vandenberg, J. D. Simposio: empleo de microorganismos para el control biologico de insectos. Revista Latinoamericana de Microbiologia (Suplemento) 44: 70-74. 2002. (Proceedings).


Castrillo, L. A., Vandenberg, J. D., and Wraight, S. P. Strain-specific detection of introduced Beauveria bassiana in agricultural fields by use of sequence-characterized amplified region markers. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 82: 75-83. 2003.


Vandenberg, J. D., and Cantone, F. A. Effect of serial transfer on three strains of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus on growth in vitro, virulence, and host specificity. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 85: 40-45. 2004.


Castrillo, L. A., Griggs, M. H., and Vandenberg, J. D., Vegetative compatibility groups in indigenous and mass-released strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana: Likelihood of recombination in the field. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 86: 26-37. 2004.


Castrillo, L. A., Roberts, D. W., and Vandenberg, J. D. The fungal past, present, and future: germination, ramification, and reproduction. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 89: 46-56. 2005.


Krasnoff, S. B., Sommers, C. H., Moon, Y.-S., Donzelli, B. G. G., Vandenberg, J. D., Churchill, A. C., and Gibson, D. M. Production of mutagenic metabolites by Metarhizium anisopliae. J. Agric. Food Chem. 54: 7083-7088. 2006.


Filotas, M. J., Vandenberg, J. D., Hajek, A. E. Concentration response and temperature-related susceptibility of the forest tent caterpillar to the entomopathogenic fungus Furia gastropachae. Biological Control 39: 218-224. 2006.


Vandenberg, J. D., Wraight, S. P., and Shelton, A. M. Application and evaluation of entomopathogens in crucifers and cucurbits. In Field Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology, 2nd ed. (L. A. Lacey and H. K. Kaya, eds.) Springer, Dordrecht. Pages 361-374. 2007. (Book Chapter)


Castrillo, L. A., Griggs, M. H., and Vandenberg, J. D. Quantitative detection of Beauveria bassiana GHA, a potential microbial control agent of the emerald ash borer, by use of real-time PCR. Biological Control 45: 163-169. 2008.


Moon, Y.-S., Donzelli, B. G. G., Krasnoff, S. B., McLane, H., Griggs, M. H., Cooke, P., Vandenberg, J. D., Gibson, D. M., and Churchill, A. C. L. Agrobacterium-mediated disruption of a nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene in the invertebrate pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae reveals a peptide spore factor. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74: 4366-4380. 2008.


Castrillo, L. A., Ugine, T. A., Filotas, M. J., Sanderson, J. P., Vandenberg, J. D., and Wraight, S. P. Molecular characterization and comparative virulence of Beauveria bassiana isolates associated with the greenhouse shore fly, Scatella tenuicosta. Biological Control 45: 154-162. 2008.


Stock, S. P., Vandenberg, J. D., Glazer, I., and Boemare, N., eds. Insect Pathogens: Molecular Approaches and Techniques. CAB International, Oxfordshire. 417 pages. 2009. (Book)


Wraight, S. P., Ramos, M. E., Avery, P. B., Jaronski, S. T., and Vandenberg, J. D. Comparative virulence of Beauveria bassiana isolates against lepidopteran pests. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 103: 186-199. 2010.


Donzelli, B. G. G., Krasnoff, S. B., Churchill, A. C. L., Vandenberg, J. D., and Gibson, D. M. Identification of a hybrid PKS-NRPS required for the biosynthesis of NG-391 in Metarhizium robertsii. Current Genetics 56: 151-162. 2010.


Castrillo, L. A., Griggs, M. H., Liu, H., Bauer, L. S., and Vandenberg, J. D. Assessing deposition and persistence of Beauveria bassiana GHA applied for control of the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, in a commercial tree nursery. Biological Control 54: 61-67. 2010.


Castrillo, L. A., Bauer, L. S., Liu, H., Griggs, M. H., and Vandenberg, J. D. Characterization of Beauveria bassiana isolates associated with Agrilus planipennis populations in Michigan. Biological Control (Accepted for publication and in press: doi: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2010.04.005). 2010.



Last Modified: 5/6/2010