Development of Novel DNA-Based Methods for Detection of Bt Resistant Fall Armyworms

During the past 22 years, pest control efficacy and the potential for higher net returns have driven a global increase in the adoption of transgenic crops which produce insecticidal proteins (Cry and Vip toxins) from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt crops). In the US alone, Bt corn and cotton adoption represent >80% of the national acreage devoted to the two commodities, which has unfortunately led to increasing selection pressure for evolution of Bt toxin resistant insect pests. One such devastating pest is the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) which has become a growing threat to the use of transgenic corn technology in the Western Hemisphere and more recently the African continent. The fall armyworm is the insect pest with the highest…

Congratulations to Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry – Fulbright Scholar!

Several indigenous crop species have the potential to become foods of the future and need to be integrated into existing agricultural research. Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry was selected for a Fulbright award to the African Regional Research Program to study an indigenous crop, frafra potato (Solenostemon rotendifolius), as an alternative food source. She will spend four months in Ghana working closely with her collaborator at the University of Ghana (UG), Dr. Naalamle Amissah, to evaluate genetic diversity of frafra potato populations in Ghana and surrounding sub-Saharan African countries where this species is cultivated. This is quite an innovative project that involves studying traditional subjects while providing hands-on experiential learning experiences for faculty, staff, and students at the University of Ghana. Congratulations, Dr. Guerry!

EUReCA! winners

Logan Houston, an undergraduate researchers in the Trigiano lab, was awarded a Gold Medal at last night’s EUReCA awards ceremony. Logan’s award was one of four in the STEM section of the competition. Logan’s research, “Geographical location drives the population structure of native Asian Cornus florida” was supported by the Trigiano lab and guided primarily by Dr. Marcin Nowicki. Angel Chaffin, one of our EPP minors, was awarded an Honorable Mention for her work on, “Potential pathogens of industrial hemp (Cannibas sativa)”. Although her research was sponsored by Dr. Kimberly Gwinn, she was also assisted by Cody Seals, Mary Dee, Dr. Ernest Bernard, and Dr. Jerome Grant. Geordan Hall, who worked with Drs. Karen Vail and Becky Trout Fryxell, also…