Research in Progress
During the past year, CCE members have reached across and beyond campus to other chemical ecologists to establish new opportunities for exploration, discovery, and technology delivery. Examples follow. Updates will be posted on CCE Home as they become available.
New Research Collaborations Reported by CCE Faculty
Andy Stephenson (Biology) and Diana Cox-Foster (Entomology) are examining the role of antimicrobial compounds in nectar in preventing diseases transmitted through the nectaries of Cucurbita.
This summer, the Department of Energy–Joint Genome Institute (JGI) began sequencing the metagenome of the microbial community harbored in Asian longhorned beetle guts. A CCE team consisting of Kelli Hoover (Entomology), John Carlson (School of Forest Resources), Ming Tien (Biochemistry), and Scott Geib (Entomology) is providing JGI with microbial DNA isolated from larval guts for sequencing.
Gary Felton (Entomology) has established various projects with Frédéric Marion-Poll (France) and Frederick Francis (Belgium).
Jim Frazier (Entomology) is collaborating with John Glendinning (Columbia University) and Kevin Wanner (University of Illinois) on molecular approaches to understanding insect taste.
Dawn Luthe (Crop and Soil Sciences) has a College of Agricultural Sciences seed grant with Neela Yennawar (Protein X-ray Crystallography Core Facility, The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences) to determine the crystal structure of a maize insect resistance cysteine protease. Luthe also is working with Virginia Walbot (University of California–Berkeley) to test some maize lines for fall armyworm resistance and with Greg Howe (Michigan State University) to analyze fall armyworm frass.
Jim Marden (Biology) has a DARPA subcontract on a grant to Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell to modify insects for surveillance and military purposes.
Jim Tumlinson (Entomology) is collaborating with Naoki Mori (Kyoto University) to investigate the biosynthesis and role of insect herbivore-produced elicitors of plant volatiles. As part of this collaboration, Naoko Yoshinaga, a postdoctoral scholar on a Japanese fellowship, is working in the Tumlinson lab for 2 years. Tumlinson also has a collaborative project with Peter Teal (USDA–ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL) and Baldwyn Torto (ICIPE, Nairobi, Kenya) to study interactions of European and African honey bees with diseases and pests.
Yinong Yang (Plant Pathology) is working with John Carlson (School of Forest Resources), Luthe (Crop and Soil Sciences), Surinder Chopra (Crop and Soil Sciences), Katherine Brown, Majid Foolad, Mark Guiltinan, and Seochan Kang (Plant Pathology) via a grant proposal to USDA for National Needs Fellows (graduate education). Yang is collaborating with Katherine Brown, David Huff, and Kang to study the effect of ethylene signaling on rice root development, disease resistance in turfgrass, and the rice–Magnaporthe oryzae interactions.
New Research Collaborations Reported by CCE Postdocs
Irmgard Seidl-Adams (Entomology) will be at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, for 1 year to work with Joerg Degenhardt.
Katalin Böröczky and Seong-Gyu Lee (both Entomology) are working on insect antenna-inspired sensors with researchers from the PSU departments of Chemistry and Acoustics and The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Katalin also has projects examining pests (e.g., Sirex noctilio) of pine species and emerald ash borer cuticular chemistry (OTIS USDA, MA).
Mike Domingue (Entomology) is collaborating with Wendell Roelofs’ lab (Cornell University, Geneva, NY) to determine the link between pheromone-mediated behavior and olfactory receptor neuron responses in Ostrinia moth species. This work has already resulted in 4 publications (see Publications 2007).
Seong-Gyu Lee (Entomology) is working with Neal Vickers (University of Utah) on the physiology and morphology of pheromone-related olfactory receptor neurons of male moths of Heliothis subflexa.
New Research Collaborations Reported by CCE Students
Tracy Conklin (Entomology) is conducting aphid research with Fred Gildow (Plant Pathology) and has a project with small hive beetle with Dennis van Engelsdorp (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture) and Maryann Frazier (Entomology). Tracy recently visited the University of Idaho to work with Sanford Eigenbrode on aphid behavior.
Jon Lelito (Entomology) is working with Tappey Jones (Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA) to synthesize a cuticular compound identified from emerald ash borer females (by CCE entomologist Katalin Böröczky) that is being tested behaviorally in the field. Jon has a gas chromatographic-electroantennographic project with a graduate student from Georgetown University on mantid olfaction.
Kerry Mauck (Entomology) is collaborating with Micky Eubanks (Texas A&M) to determine how cucumber mosaic virus infection affects plant quality, volatile emissions, and interactions among host plants and insects (vectors, vector predators, ants tending vectors). Kerry also is collaborating with Robert Denno (University of Maryland) on aspects of chemical and acoustic signaling among arthropods in east coast salt marsh communities.
Maya Nehme (Entomology) is working on a project with the School of Forest Resources on microwaving wood to control insect introductions through trading.
Miruna Sasuclark (Biology) is collaborating with Consuelo De Moraes and Mark Mescher (both Entomology) on a Cucurbita pepo var. texana floral volatiles project and with Jim Winsor (Penn State–Altoona) on transmission of Erwinia tracheiphila, which causes wilt disease in C. pepo var. texana.