The Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology Crawling to the Top at Ag Day Every year, the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture hosts an event that encompasses agriculture, tailgating, and Big Orange spirit. While Ag Day includes many departments, none of them quite leave the same impression as ours does. The photo above has Rosie, Dr. Grant’s rose-haired tarantula, trying to get a peek at the festivities. Check out the other photos to see our team represent UT spirit:
Julian Cosner, a Ph.D. student in EPP, is one of five PhD students recently honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellows. Tennessee Doctoral Fellows are chosen every three years; this is only the second group of fellows at UT. The fellowships are funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and UT’s Graduate School. Congratulations, Julian! For more information, please see UT News here.
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) announces that Nourolah Soltani received the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award to supports his travel to the APS meeting in Cleveland, OH. Mr. Soltani was also awarded support for travel from the Plant Research Center and the Graduate Student Senate. At the meeting, he will present two posters on the quinoa-Cucumber mosaic virus interaction.
The poster created by Nourolah Soltani was chosen for display by Pendergrass Library as an example of the #betterposter approach. Research on the impact of infection of quinoa by Cucumber mosaic virus on expression of genes regulating terpene biosynthesis is described in the poster. Nourolah will present the poster at the American Phytopathological Society meeting in Cleveland (Aug. 3- 7). Dr. Meg Staton, and Dr. Kimberly Gwinn are also authors on the poster.
Dr. Laura Russo recently published a manuscript showing bee preference for an invasive thistle may be associated with higher protein content in the pollen. The paper can be found here.
National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators of all types and to spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Check out the podcast by Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, Assistant Professor and Extension Apiculturist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee where she discusses honey bee pollination.
The Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) Robert May early career researcher award is named after Lord May, from the University of Oxford. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted by an early career author at the start of their research career. The winning paper: Laura Russo, Adam D. Miller, John Tooker et al. Quantitative evolutionary patterns in bipartite networks: Vicariance, phylogenetic tracking or diffuse co-evolution? Methods Ecol Evol 2018, 9:3. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12914 Here is excerpt from BSE: Dr. Laura Russo led work to develop a framework that can incorporate species traits or behaviours to investigate diffuse evolutionary patterns within ecological communities, using plant-pollinator interactions as a case study. The study of interactions and their impacts
Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition
A recent paper in Current Biology by DeWayne Shoemaker and colleagues from the University of Georgia describes a socially polymorphic population of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, in which multi-queen colonies produce queens asexually but produce workers sexually via matings with males from the sexually reproducing single-queen social form. Two distinct asexual lineages from multi-queen colonies likely originated from the same sexual single-queen population. Multiple asexual/polygyne genomes are transmitted undiluted in this system, but sterile workers produced with sperm from a sexually-reproducing/monogyne population are necessary for the persistence of these lineages. The intersection of social polymorphism, facultative asexuality, and genetic caste determination marks this population of S. geminata as an embodiment of the diversity of ant reproductive systems and suggests previously
Check out the recent article about Dr. Jurat-Fuentes at: https://news.utk.edu/2019/04/05/jurat-fuentes-destroying-insects-from-the-inside-out/ Also, see a related video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glbbYa7MB-8