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Daniel Hasegawa

Research Entomologist


Contact Information

USDA - Agricultural Research Service

1636 East Alisal Street

Salinas, CA 93905 USA

Phone: (831) 755-2826


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2013     Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Clemson University

2007     B.S. Biochemistry, University of California Riverside


Research Experience

2019 - current     Research Entomologist, USDA-ARS Salinas, California

2014 - 2019        Research Molecular Biologist (postdoc), USDA-ARS Charleston, South Carolina


Research Interests

Our research aims to improve the sustainable management of insects, insect vectors, and insect-transmitted viruses that are detrimental to vegetables, fruits, and horticultural crops.

Much of our current work focuses on managing thrips and thrips-transmitted tospoviruses, which have emerged as major challenges for lettuce production in the Salinas Valley of California as described in our 2023 paper [pdf] and is highlighted below.

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Left panel: lettuce infected with the tospovirus, impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) in the Salinas Valley of California. Top right: Spatial Analysis by Distance IndicEs (SADIE) characterized the rapid spread of INSV in a 4 ha field. Bottom right: Adult and first larval stage of the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) are key developmental stages for successful virus acquisition and transmission.


Current Research Projects


  • Characterizing the host range of INSV in the Salinas Valley and other regions.
  • Improving the use of existing registered pesticides for managing insects and viruses.
  • Enhancing biological control strategies for managing insects and viruses.
  • Biotechnologies (RNA interference and peptides) for managing insects and viruses.
  • Understanding the intimate relationships between viruses and their insect vectors.
  • Multitrophic interactions between plants, insect vectors, viruses, and soilborne pathogens.
  • New surveillance strategies for detecting insect vectors.
  • Monitoring key insect pests (aphids, diamondback moth, and thrips) of vegetable crops in the Salinas Valley (see below).

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Top row, left to right: lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribisnigri) on romaine heart lettuce; diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on broccoli leaves, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) on young lettuce. Bottom row: Populations trends for thrips, aphids, and diamondback moth. Data is reported in the Salinas Valley Pest Mapping Tool, which was developed in collaboration with Dr. Ian Grettenberger at UC Davis.


Additional Information


Lab Members