← All People

Patricia Pietrantonio

Pietrantonio, Patricia
Patricia Pietrantonio
Professor and Texas AgriLife Fellow
HEEP 517
Office: 979-845-9728 Lab: 979-845-9755 Fax: 979-845-6305
Undergraduate Education
Ingeniera Agronoma. Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Graduate Education
Ph.D. Entomology. University of California, Riverside
M. Sc. Entomology. University of California, Riverside
Courses Taught
ENTO 619 - Graduate Course in Insect Toxicology: web supported with power point presentations, lecture notes and animations - Every Spring since 1997
ENTO 691 - Graduate Research - Ongoing; see graduate student list
ENTO 615 - Graduate Course in Insect Physiology

Current Grad Students

Degree sought Student Name
Ph.D. Caixing Xiong Fall 2016-
Ph.D. Pallavi Vedasharan

Current Postdocs:

  • Christina Brock
  • Travis Calkins

Former Recent Postdocs:

  • Yunlong Yang – Current Position: Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Burns Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Hyeog-Sun Kwon – Postdoc, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University
  • Prati Bajracharya
  • Dr. Arinder Arora
  • Dr. Xicheng Ding

Current undergraduate students

  • Helen Chen
  • Helen Campuzano
  • Jordan Sloan

Graduated Students

Degree Awarded Name Graduation year Current occupation
M.S. Paula Castillo December 2015 Orkin, Houston, Texas
Ph.D. Hyeogsun Kwon May 2013 Post-doc Entomology, Iowa State University
Ph.D. Hsiao-Ling Lu December 2011 Postdoc at the Department of Entomology, University of Maryland – Dr. Raymond St. Leger’s Lab
 Ph.D. Bradley W. Hopkins 2010 DowAgrosciences
 Ph.D. Christopher Jagge 2009 Laboratory Manager, TAMU-HSC
 Ph.D. Meir-Er Chen 2003 Assistant Professor Entomology, Taichung National Univ. Taiwan
 Ph.D. Steven Holmes 2003 Navy Entomologist, Norfolk Virginia
 Ph.D. Sam Frazier 1999
M.S. Cymon N. Kersch December 2011 Medical student at OHSU
 M.S. Maria Blandon 2006 Dept. of Biology, TAMU- Academic advisor
M.Ag. Terry Junek 2006 Dept. of Chemistry, TAMU, Lab. instructor


I have served on the committee of five Ph.D. students who have graduated.

I am an Editorial Board Member of Insect Molecular Biology. I am an Associate Editor for the journal Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology and a founding Editorial Board member of the recently launched journal, Open Access Insect Physiology. In the Department I serve in the AwardsCommittee and other committees as appointed. In the University I serve in the Advance (NSF funded) subcommittee for minority females in STEM.


†Post doc supervised ¶Graduate student supervised *Corresponding author.

Travis L. Calkins; Mei‐Er Chen, Arinder K. Arora, Chloe Hawkings, Cecilia Tamborindeguy, Patricia V. Pietrantonio* 2018. Brain gene expression analyses in virgin and mated queens of fire ants reveal mating‐independent and socially regulated changes. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3976

Kwon H, Ali Agha M, Smith RC, Nachman RJ, Marion-Poll F, Pietrantonio PV. Leucokinin mimetic elicits aversive behavior in mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) and inhibits the sugar taste neuron. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 21;113(25):6880-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1520404113. Epub 2016 Jun 6. PubMed PMID: 27274056; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4922158.

Gulia-Nuss M, Nuss AB, Meyer JM, Sonenshine DE, Roe RM, Waterhouse RM, Sattelle DB, de la Fuente J, Ribeiro JM, Megy K, Thimmapuram J, Miller JR, Walenz BP, Koren S, Hostetler JB, Thiagarajan M, Joardar VS, Hannick LI, Bidwell S, Hammond MP, Young S, Zeng Q, Abrudan JL, Almeida FC, Ayllón N, Bhide K, Bissinger BW, Bonzon-Kulichenko E, Buckingham SD, Caffrey DR, Caimano MJ, Croset V, Driscoll T, Gilbert D, Gillespie JJ, Giraldo-Calderón GI, Grabowski JM, Jiang D, Khalil SM, Kim D, Kocan KM, Koči J, Kuhn RJ, Kurtti TJ, Lees K, Lang EG, Kennedy RC, Kwon H, Perera R, Qi Y, Radolf JD, Sakamoto JM, Sánchez-Gracia A, Severo MS, Silverman N, Šimo L, Tojo M, Tornador C, Van Zee JP, Vázquez J, Vieira FG, Villar M, Wespiser AR, Yang Y, Zhu J, Arensburger P, Pietrantonio PV, Barker SC, Shao R, Zdobnov EM, Hauser F, Grimmelikhuijzen CJ, Park Y, Rozas J, Benton R, Pedra JH, Nelson DR, Unger MF, Tubio JM, Tu Z, Robertson HM, Shumway M, Sutton G, Wortman JR, Lawson D, Wikel SK, Nene VM, Fraser CM, Collins FH, Birren B, Nelson KE,
Caler E, Hill CA. Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease. Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 9;7:10507. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10507. PubMed PMID: 26856261; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4748124.

Yang Y, Nachman RJ, Pietrantonio PV. Molecular and pharmacological characterization of the Chelicerata pyrokinin receptor from the southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 May;60:13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.02.010. Epub 2015 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 25747529.

Bajracharya P, Lu HL, Pietrantonio PV. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) kept Y not F: predicted sNPY endogenous ligands deorphanize the short NPF (sNPF) receptor. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 13;9(10):e109590. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109590. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25310341; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4195672.

Castillo P, Pietrantonio PV. Differences in sNPF receptor-expressing neurons in brains of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) worker subcastes: indicators for division of labor and nutritional status? PLoS One. 2013 Dec 20;8(12):e83966. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083966. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24376775; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3869854.

Yang Y, Bajracharya P, Castillo P, Nachman RJ, Pietrantonio PV. Molecular and functional characterization of the first tick CAP2b (periviscerokinin) receptor from Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2013 Dec 1;194:142-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Sep 17. PubMed PMID: 24055303.

Kwon H, Pietrantonio PV. Calcitonin receptor 1 (AedaeGPCRCAL1) hindgut expression and direct role in myotropic action in females of the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.). Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jul;43(7):588-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 23523607.

Kwon H, Lu HL, Longnecker MT, Pietrantonio PV. Role in diuresis of a calcitonin receptor (GPRCAL1) expressed in a distal-proximal gradient in renal organs of the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.). PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050374. Epub 2012 Nov 29. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2013;8(10). doi:10.1371/annotation/9d100bb6-b5ee-4fd0-81e9-c315523e7f75. PubMed PMID: 23209727; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3510207.

Kersch CN, Pietrantonio PV. Mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) leucokinin receptor is critical for in vivo fluid excretion post blood feeding. FEBS Lett. 2011 Nov 16;585(22):3507-12. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 15. PubMed PMID: 22019456.

Sooresh A, Kwon H, Taylor R, Pietrantonio P, Pine M, Sayes CM. Surface functionalization of silver nanoparticles: novel applications for insect vector control. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Oct;3(10):3779-87. doi: 10.1021/am201167v. Epub 2011 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 21957003.

Lu HL, Pietrantonio PV. Insect insulin receptors: insights from sequence and caste expression analyses of two cloned hymenopteran insulin receptor cDNAs from the fire ant. Insect Mol Biol. 2011 Oct;20(5):637-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2011.01094.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29. PubMed PMID: 21797944.

Lu HL, Pietrantonio PV. Immunolocalization of the short neuropeptide F receptor in queen brains and ovaries of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren). BMC Neurosci. 2011 Jun 14;12:57. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-12-57. PubMed PMID: 21672256; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3146894.

Nachman RJ, Pietrantonio PV. Interaction of mimetic analogs of insect kinin neuropeptides with arthropod receptors. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2010;692:27-48. Review. PubMed PMID: 21189673.

Lu HL, Kersch C, Pietrantonio PV. The kinin receptor is expressed in the Malpighian tubule stellate cells in the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.): a new model needed to explain ion transport? Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2011 Feb;41(2):135-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2010.10.003. Epub 2010 Nov 5. PubMed PMID: 21056665; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3031248.

Hopkins BW, Longnecker MT, Pietrantonio PV. Transcriptional overexpression of CYP6B8/CYP6B28 and CYP6B9 is a mechanism associated with cypermethrin survivorship in field-collected Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) moths. Pest Manag Sci. 2011 Jan;67(1):21-5. doi: 10.1002/ps.2034. PubMed PMID: 20949449.

Hopkins BW, Pietrantonio PV. The Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) voltage-gated sodium channel and mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in field-collected adult males. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 May;40(5):385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 20362057.

Hopkins BW, Pietrantonio PV. Differential efficacy of three commonly used pyrethroids against laboratory and field-collected larvae and adults of
Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and significance for pyrethroid resistance management. Pest Manag Sci. 2010 Feb;66(2):147-54. doi:
10.1002/ps.1847. PubMed PMID: 19757481.

Lu HL, Vinson SB, Pietrantonio PV. Oocyte membrane localization of vitellogenin receptor coincides with queen flying age, and receptor silencing by RNAi disrupts egg formation in fire ant virgin queens. FEBS J. 2009 Jun;276(11):3110-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07029.x. Epub 2009 Apr 23. PubMed PMID: 19490112.

Nachman RJ, Pietrantonio PV, Coast GM. Toward the development of novel pest management agents based upon insect kinin neuropeptide analogues. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Apr;1163:251-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2008.03633.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 19456346.

Taneja-Bageshwar S, Strey A, Isaac RE, Coast GM, Zubrzak P, Pietrantonio PV, Nachman RJ. Biostable agonists that match or exceed activity of native insect kinins on recombinant arthropod GPCRs. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2009 May 15;162(1):122-8. doi: 0.1016/j.ygcen.2008.10.013. Epub 2008 Oct 19. PubMed PMID: 18983996.

Jagge CL, Pietrantonio PV. Diuretic hormone 44 receptor in Malpighian tubules of the mosquito Aedes aegypti: evidence for transcriptional regulation paralleling urination. Insect Mol Biol. 2008 Aug;17(4):413-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2008.00817.x. PubMed PMID: 18651923.

Pietrantonio PV, Junek TA, Parker R, Mott D, Siders K, Troxclair N, Vargas-Camplis J, Westbrook JK, Vassiliou VA. Detection and evolution of resistance to the pyrethroid cypermethrin in Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) populations in Texas. Environ Entomol. 2007 Oct;36(5):1174-88. PubMed PMID: 18284743.

Taneja-Bageshwar S, Strey A, Zubrzak P, Williams H, Reyes-Rangel G, Juaristi E, Pietrantonio P, Nachman RJ. Identification of selective and non-selective, biostable beta-amino acid agonists of recombinant insect kinin receptors from the southern cattle tick Boophilus microplus and mosquito Aedes aegypti. Peptides. 2008 Feb;29(2):302-9. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2007.07.034. Epub 2007 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 18207610.

Taneja-Bageshwar S, Strey A, Kaczmarek K, Zabrocki J, Pietrantonio PV, Nachman RJ. Comparison of insect kinin analogs with cis-peptide bond, type VI-turn motifs identifies optimal stereochemistry for interaction with a recombinant arthropod kinin receptor from the southern cattle tick Boophilus microplus. Peptides. 2008 Feb;29(2):295-301. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2007.09.024. Epub 2007 Dec 5. PubMed PMID: 18192082.

Taneja-Bageshwar S, Strey A, Zubrzak P, Pietrantonio PV, Nachman RJ. Comparative structure-activity analysis of insect kinin core analogs on
recombinant kinin receptors from Southern cattle tick Boophilus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) and mosquito Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2006 Jul;62(3):128-40. PubMed PMID: 16783824.

Chen ME, Holmes SP, Pietrantonio PV. Glucose transporter 8 (GLUT8) from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2006 Jun;62(2):55-72. PubMed PMID: 16703617.

Chen ME, Pietrantonio PV. The short neuropeptide F-like receptor from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2006 Apr;61(4):195-208. PubMed PMID: 16552771.

Pietrantonio PV, Jagge C, Taneja-Bageshwar S, Nachman RJ, Barhoumi R. The mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) leucokinin receptor is a multiligand receptor for the three Aedes kinins. Insect Mol Biol. 2005 Jan;14(1):55-67. PubMed PMID: 15663775.

Chen ME, Lewis DK, Keeley LL, Pietrantonio PV. cDNA cloning and transcriptional regulation of the vitellogenin receptor from the imported fire
ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insect Mol Biol. 2004 Apr;13(2):195-204. PubMed PMID: 15056367.


D.-W. Lee† and P.V. Pietrantonio*. 2003. In vitro expression and pharmacology of the 5-HT7-like receptor present in the mosquito Aedes aegypti tracheolar cells and hindgut-associated nerves. Insect Mol. Biol. 12: 561-569.



Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Department of Entomology. Paul A Dahm Memorial Lecture in Entomology. Dedicated to Insect Toxicologist P.A. Dahm. “Towards target validation in pests: from candidate receptors to phenotypes.” April 8, 2013.

Pietrantonio, P.V. 2013. GPCRs signaling in regulation of diuresis in females of Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquitoes. 20 min power-point presentation. PBT section Symposium “The Future of Mosquito Endocrinology”. November 10, 2013. ESA Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, Nov. 10-13, 2013.

P.V. Pietrantonio and Lu, H.L. 2013. Receptors and effectors involved in reproductive control in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Invited to Member symposium: Red imported fire ants: global approaches to a global invasive species. ESA Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, Nov. 10-13, 2013.

Pietrantonio, P.V. 2013. The challenge of IRM in Helicoverpa zea in North America: staying ahead of moving molecular targets. P-IE Section Symposium: Mechanisms of Resistance: From mechanisms to management, IRAC US Symposium Series No. 9. ESA Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, Nov. 10-13, 2013.

Pietrantonio, P.V., H.S. Kwon and R. Nachman. 2013. A diuretic kinin analog elicits food aversion in females of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Selected by Organising Committee of the Mosquito Kolymbari Meeting, 6th “EMBO Conference on Molecular and Population Biology of Mosquitoes and Other Disease Vectors: From Basic Vector Biology Research to Disease Control”. Kolymbari, Crete, Greece, 15-19 July 2013.

Pietrantonio, P.V. 2011. Arthropod vector G protein-coupled receptors involved in fluid excretion: tissue expression, cell specialization revealed in renal organs and RNAi phenotypes. Fifth EMBO Conference “Molecular and Population Biology of Mosquitoes and Other Disease Vectors”. 24-30 July, 2011. Kolymbari, Crete, Greece.

Pietrantonio, P.V., C. Almazan, D. Carreon-Camacho, R. J. Nachman, H.-L. Lu. 2010. Analysis of the tick kinin receptor function through structure-activity relationships of kinin peptidomimetics, and RNAi and immunohistochemistry in females of Ripicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Invited presentation. Abstract published in the Abstract Book of the XIII International Congress of Acarology. Recife, State of Pernambuco, Brazil. August 23-27, 2010.

GRANTS (Last 5 years)

“Functional characterization and target validation of tick (Boophilus microplus) G protein-coupled receptors.” National Research Initiative /USDA CSREES Entomology. Grant renewal. Funds: $391,000. 2008-2011.

PI, Pietrantonio, P.V. and Co-PI, C. Tamborindeguy. 2013. Title: Neuropeptide receptors and identification of genes in signaling networks involved in reproduction and nutrition in the Red Imported Fire Ant. NSF-IOS. 1257837- 03/01-2013 to 02/29/2016. Funds: $601,904.

PI, Pietrantonio, PV. Texas Invasive Ant Research and Management Seed Grant Program. FY 14-15. 2013. Neuropeptides and their receptors controlling reproduction, nursing and foraging as targets to manage invasive ants. $120,000.

Co-PI, Pietrantonio, P.V.; PI, R.F. Medina and co-PI M.O. Way. 2013. Title: Insecticide Susceptibility and Esterase Activity in the Redbanded Stink Bug. SIPMC (Southern Region IPM Center)-IPM Enhancement Seed Grant. Funded $29,925.

PI, Pietrantonio, PV. Texas Fire Ant Research and Management Project. Competitive submission FY 2012-2013. 2011. Brain and ovary receptors as novel targets to manage the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Funds under Pietrantonio $150,000.

PI, Michele Pine, C. Sayes, co-PI, P.V. Pietrantonio, Co-PI, B. Porter co-PI.  2009.  Vector eradication: Delivery of novel pesticide encapsulated nanoparticles. Texas AgriLife Research. FY 2009-2011.  Total funds $110,000.  Funds under Pietrantonio $16,000.

Pietrantonio, PV. PI. Development of molecular diagnostic tools for detection of Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab (Bt) resistance in bollworm (H. zea).” Cotton Incorporated Core Program Funds: $18,000 for 2013.

Pietrantonio, PV. PI. Development of molecular diagnostic tools for detection of Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab (Bt) resistance in bollworm (H. zea).” Cotton Incorporated Core Program Funds: $18,000 for 2012.

Pietrantonio, PV. PI. Development of molecular diagnostic tools for detection of Cry1Ac/Cry1Ab (Bt) resistance in bollworm (H. zea).” Cotton Incorporated Core Program Funds: $18,000 for 2011.