Category Archives: Research

Tomberlin Receives Grant to Investigate Methods for Disrupting Microbial Communication to Protect Stored Products from Aflatoxin

Dr. Jeff Tomberlin’s lab recently received a $495,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to help find ways to suppress aflatoxin production in peanut and maize plants. The DARPA grant will allow Dr. Tomberlin’s team, which includes Dr. Karen Wooley (Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M) and Dr. Mike Toews (Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia) to study the interactions between bacteria and the fungi that produce the aflatoxin on the surfaces of these plants. Aflatoxins are potentially carcinogenic chemicals that are produced by… Read More →

Texas A&M Entomologist Hot on the Trail to Stop Global Locust Devastation

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION – From time immemorial, man has suffered from the devastation wrought by locust swarms of biblical proportions often visited on those least able to weather the plagues. But now a Texas A&M University entomologist at College Station with a passion for helping humanity is hot on the trail of pinpointing the cause that triggers the insects’ swarming behavior and defusing it to stop the destruction. Dr. Hojun Song’s work was published in the June 30 edition of Research Features…. Read More →

Online Journal Features Best of Undergraduate Student Research

Students in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University now has another way to display their research as the third edition of the Instars student-edited online journal was just released this june. Since its inception two years ago, the Instars open access online journal has grown from a handful of journal articles from various undergraduate student research projects into a place to where students could have a place to easily showcase their research to the public. Articles in the third volume include a variety of undergraduate projects… Read More →

Sword Named Innovation Award Recipient

Congratulations to Professor and Charles R. Parencia Chair in Cotton Entomology Dr. Greg Sword for receiving the Texas A&M Technology Commercialization’s Excellence in Innovation Award on May 4, 2017. The awards were presented during a special luncheon at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center inside the George Bush Presidential Library. Sword was recognized for his research with fungal endophytes that led to collaboration with an industry partner to produce a commercially available seed treatment for cotton. The treatment allows cotton plants plagued by dwindling irrigation water and drought to… Read More →

Tomberlin Named AgriLife Research Fellow, Extension Entomology, IPM Agents Receive Superior Service Awards

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Department of Entomology has started the New Year off right as it celebrates the recipients of the latest round of awards given at the 2017 Texas A&M AgriLife Conference. The awards were given during the Research and Extension awards presentation on Tuesday in the Memorial Student Center’s Bethancourt Ballroom. Dr. Jeff Tomberlin was honored as a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow, an honorific title he will keep throughout his tenure at Texas A&M.  This was awarded for his outstanding research in the field of… Read More →

AgriLife Research team makes strides in fight against Zika

by Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION – There’s a war raging on a tiny battlefield and the outcome could well touch millions of people worldwide threatened by Zika and related viruses. The key ally unlocking the mystery surrounding this conflict is the long-dreaded yellow fever virus. Dr. Kevin Myles, Glady “Hazitha” Samuel and Dr. Zach Adelman are Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists at Texas A&M University, College Station, who published “Yellow fever virus capsid protein is a potent suppressor of RNA silencing that binds double-stranded… Read More →

Pietrantonio’s Fire Ant Research Featured in Podcast

Texas A&M Entomology professor Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio’s fire ant research project was recently featured in a video posted by the science media podcast website EarthSky. The podcast is located at http://earthsky.org/earth/science-fights-to-control-fire-ants, highlights the destructive impact of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) and the ongoing basic research efforts to conceive better strategies to control this pest. Pietrantonio’s National Science Foundation-funded project, titled “Neuropeptide Receptors and Identification of Genes in Signaling Networks Involved in Reproduction and Nutrition in the Red Imported Fire Ant”, focuses on localizing the neuropeptide… Read More →

Texas A&M Entomology Hosts Joint Vector Borne Disease Workshop with UC-Davis

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University recently held a two-day workshop in cooperation with the University of California-Davis’ Department of Entomology and Nematology this past weekend to discuss vector-borne diseases in humans, plants, and animals. The two-day event held at the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ‘56 Equine Complex, focused on finding solutions to problems with vector-borne diseases such as Zika, citrus greening and Lyme Disease. The event paired faculty with similar interests, such as genetics and genomics of vectors to those who deal with population structure… Read More →

New AgriLife Research scientists take aim at Zika

By Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLLEGE STATION – Today’s news is flooded with reports on Zika; none of them good…until now. Texas A&M AgriLife Research has fielded a Zika team led by two scientists who joined the department of entomology at Texas A&M University on Aug. 1, said Dr. David Ragsdale, department head at College Station. Dr. Zach Adelman and Dr. Kevin Myles were previously at Virginia Tech and now join the ranks of a number of AgriLife Research personnel whose priority has become stopping Zika,… Read More →

AgriLife Research Entomologist Creates Toolbox for Vegetable Producers

by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications WESLACO – It’s an imaginary toolbox, but Dr. Ismael E. Badillo-Vargas wants to create one for South Texas growers to help them revive what was once a thriving vegetable industry in the Rio Grande Valley. It would contain both short- and long-term strategies to once again harvest vast fields of produce in Texas for local, national and international markets. Badillo-Vargas, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research insect vector entomologist in Weslaco, said insects and the plant diseases they carry represent a… Read More →