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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Brenda S Oppert

Research Molecular Biologist

Dr. Brenda Oppert                

Dr. Brenda Oppert
Research Molecular Biologist

Contact Information:

ATTN: Brenda Oppert
1515 College Avenue
Manhattan, KS  66502

Telephone: 785.776.2780
Fax: 785.537.5584

All Publications     Research Summaries     More Information     


Dr. Oppert received B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from the University of Texas at El Paso. She received a Ph.D. in the area of protein biochemistry from Kansas State University in 1991. Since that time, Dr. Oppert has worked at CGAHR in the area of insect gut biochemistry.
     Our research mission is to find better, safer ways to control insect pests found in and around food storage areas, including grain storage and processing facilities and warehouses. Often these pests are even smaller than field pests and provide challenges when trying to understand basic digestive processes and physiological responses. Therefore, we have adopted a number of proteomics and genomics techniques, including 2-D gel analysis, multiphase chromatography, protein identification by sequencing, peptide fingerprinting and mass spec, subgenome characterization, and gene expression. Specific research areas include the use of proteomics and genomics to understand insect responses to digestive proteinase inhibitors and microbial toxins. Comparisons of differential responses in insects have been particularly enlightening. This research will lead to improved control methods for stored product pests.

Perkin, L., E. N. Elpindina, and B. Oppert. 2016. Expression patterns of cysteine peptidase genes across the Tribolium castaneum life cycle provide clues to biological function. PeerJ 4: e1581.
  Coates, B.S., M.F. Poelchau, C. Childers, J.D. Evans, A.M. Handler, F. Guerrero, S.R. Skoda, K.R. Hopper, W.M. Wintermantel, K. Ling, W.B. Hunter, B.S. Oppert, A.A. Perez De Leon, K.J. Hackett, and D.D. Shoemaker. 2015. Arthropod genomics research in the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service: Current impacts and future prospects. Trends of Entomology 11: 1-27.
Martynov, A. G., E. N. Elpidina, L. C. Perkin, and B. S. Oppert. 2015. Functional analysis of C1 family cysteine peptidases in the larval gut of Tenebrio molitor and Tribolium castaneum. BMC Genomics 16: 1-15.
Oppert, B. S., R. N. C. Guedes, M. J. Aikens, L. Perkin, Z. Chen, T. W. Phillips, K. Y. Zhu, G. P. Opit, K. Hoon, Y. Sun, G. Meredith, K. Bramlett, N. S. Hernandez, B. Sanderson, M. W. Taylor, D. Dhingra, B. Blakey, M. Lorenzen, F. Adedipe, and F. Arthur. 2015. Genes related to mitochondrial functions are differentially expressed in phosphine-resistant and -susceptible Tribolium castaneum. BMC Genomics 16: 968.
Perkin, L. C., K. S. Friesen, P. W. Flinn, and B. Oppert. 2015. Venom gland components of the ectoparasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae. J Venom Res 6: 19-37.
Zalunin, I. E., E. N. Elpidina, and B. S. Oppert. 2015. The role of proteolysis in the biological activity of Bt insecticidal crystal proteins. In: Soberon, M., Gao, Y., and Bravo, A., editors. Bt Resistance: characterization and strategies for GM crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England: CABI Publishers.
Klocko, A.L., R. Meilan, R.R. James, V. Viswanath, C. Ma, P. Payne, L. Miller, J.S. Skinner, B. Oppert, G.A. Cardineau, and S.H. Strauss. 2014. Bt-Cry3Aa transgene expression reduces insect damage and improves growth in field-grown hybrid poplar. Can. J. For. Res. 44: 28-35.
Liu, C., Y. Xiao, X. Li, B.S. Oppert, B.E. Tabashnik, and K. Wu. 2014. Cis-mediated down-regulation of a trypsin gene associated with Bt resistance in cotton bollworm. Sci. Rep. 4: 7219.
  Oppert, B. S., A. Rasoolizadeh, and D. Michaud. 2014. The coleopteran gut and targets for pest control. In: Hoffman, K. H., editor. Insect Molecular Biology and Ecology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Semashko, T.A., E.A. Vorotnikova, V.F. Sharikova, K.S. Vinokurov, Y.A. Smirnova, Y.E. Dunaevsky, M.A. Belozersky, B. Oppert, E.N. Elpidina. 2014. Selective chromogenic and fluorogenic peptide substrates for the assay of cysteine peptidases in complex mixtures. Anal. Biochem. 449: 179-187.

Last Modified: 1/9/2017
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