South Atlantic Area
Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE)
Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
CMAVE is an internationally renowned research institution. Located on
the campus of the University of Florida, it has more than 150 personnel,
including nearly 50 doctoral level scientists. The Center began during
the Second World War, in Orlando, as a unit tasked to develop methods
for stopping the transmission of insect-borne diseases. Under the direction
of Edward F. Knipling, it quickly demonstrated that the newly discovered
DDT killed the lice that transmit typhus and the fleas that transmit plague.
It has been said that this discovery saved the lives of more Allied troops
and refugees during war than did penicillin. While studying mosquitoes,
CMAVE now also does research directed at crop pests, including the identification
of insect pheromones and attractants that can be used in traps, the production
of genetically altered medflies for population eradication, the isolation
of biological control agents for fire ants and crop pests, the development
of innovative methods of detecting pests in stored grain, and on crop
genetics and the impact of environmental changes on crops.
Since our conception, CMAVE has a history of making significant consumptions
to Agriculture in the United States. A few of our achievements are:
- First tested DEET, the world’s most effective mosquito repellent,
and of its successor, A13-37220, now undergoing final evaluation by
Department of Defense.
- Discovered the attractant, trapping pheromones for Sweet
Potato Weevil; Japanese Beetle; Banded Cucumber Beetle; Northern, Western
& Southern Corn Rootworms; Fall, Southern & Beet Armyworms;
and Heliothes moths, among others.
- Discovered the mechanism conferring susceptibility to Southern
Corn Leaf Blight, which destroyed 17% of US corn in 1970. This led to
industry changes in hybrid seed production that have prevented further
- Developed ultra-low volume (ULV) pesticide application for mosquito
control and mosquito repellent treated fabric.
- Developed piggyBAC, the world’s most commonly used
transposon for inserting foreign genetic codes into insects.
- Invented of the world’s most frequently used Mediterranean
Fruit Fly trapping system.
- Developed widely used hormone and transgenic systems for
control of Med Fly using sterile fly releases.
- Discovered the new class of insecticide, sulfluramides, a
widely used toxic baits for ants, termites and cockroaches in the world.
- Invention of the Electronic Grain Probe Insect Counter to
remotely monitor pest infestations in grain bins.
- Developed first biological control of fire ants.
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