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Monitoring cotton bollworm field populations for Bt resistance
Developing genomic tool to differentiate boll weevils from other closely related weevil species.
Establishing refuge requirements for new plant bug Bt toxin (pic of adult cotton fleahopper
Developing new pheromone lure for the southern green stink bug
Improving pheromone lure for the boll weevil
The Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research Unit develops, evaluates, and integrates biologically- and ecologically-based technologies and strategies for the areawide management of insect pests and diseases that adversely affect U.S. agriculture. The research elucidates pest biology and ecology; isolates and identifies the chemical composition of insect pheromones and plant volatiles to formulate new or improved attractants for use in insect monitoring and trapping systems; identifies pathogens and respective pathogenicity genes associated with boll rot, as well as the insects that vector boll rot pathogens; elucidates genetic variation, virulence, and microbe interactions with Fusarium wilt pathogens; develops detection methods for Fusarium genotypes and other cotton diseases; and utilizes traditional breeding and genetic modification to manipulate the biosynthesis of terpenoids and other host plant resistance pathways to enhance cotton resistance to insects, nematodes, and Fusarium caused by race 4. Unit research also focuses on management of important fungal diseases of sorghum with emphasis on identification and utilization of resistant sorghum germplasm to support breeders in development of disease resistant new cultivars. Unit research is stakeholder driven and will significantly enhance productivity and profitability of U.S. farmers through development of new technologies and protocols for efficacious and eco-friendly pest management.
O Neil, Thomas