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Hemiptera Conference Held at Cornell, December 2014

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Hemiptera – an order of some 80,000 sucking insects that include aphids, cicadas, bedbugs, and many more – were the stars of a  symposium at Cornell in December 2014.

“What brings us all together is the unique feeding style of Hemiptera,” says co-organizer and BTI Associate Professor Georg Jander. “We have renewed focus on Aphids and other bugs that have become an important agricultural problem. There is a great body of work already about genetically engineered plants that target insects that are leaf-chewers such as caterpillars, but research on Hemiptera is a new and urgent challenge”.

The first session thus focused on underlying mechanisms of hemipteran biology and identification of molecular targets for use in pest management, followed by a discussion of the insects’ ecological role in terrestrial food webs. The final topic covered Hemiptera as vectors of plant viruses such as citrus greening disease, which poses a serious threat to domestic citrus production and is a research focus of co-organizer and BTI Assistant Professor Michelle Cilia.

Sponsored by the late Dr. Daljit S. Sarkaria and Dr. Elaine Sarkaria, the symposium was held in conjunction with the Department of Entomology’s 13th annual Patton Lecture in Insect Physiology, which this year featured Bryony Bonning (Iowa State University).

As the event’s lead organizer, Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology Angela Douglas explains, “Not only does Professor Bonning’s research touch on all three topics we’re addressing, but this is also a wonderful opportunity for colleagues in every career stage here on campus to interact with an international authority in this field.”

Speakers included:

  • Georg Jander: evidence for cytokinin involvement in plant-aphid interactions
  • Junbo Luan: the molecular basis of nutrient exchange in the whitefly symbiosis with two intracellular bacteria
  • Vered Tzin: characterization of the biological processes occurring in maize leaves during short and long-term aphid feeding
  • Tobas Zuest: plants driving insect community dynamics: the aphid-milkweed system
  • Anna Wallingford: hemipteran pests in agricultural crops and IPM recent findings
  • Jason Smith: the hazards of eating a parasite: aphid feeding on the parasitic plant dodder Cuscuta gronovoii) is inhibited by toxins that originate in dodder’s host
  • John Ramsey: analysis of circulative transmission of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in the Asian Citrus Psyllid using Protein Interaction Reporter technology
  • Katie Marchetto: are stolen goods best? Evolving interactions between connecting, aphid-vectored viruses
  • Yi Xu: population diversity of rice stripe virus-derived sirens and RNAi-based antiviral immunity n the plant hopper Laodelphax striatellus
  • Michelle Cilia: a role for cathepsin in aphid transmission of circulative viruses

Hemiptera Conference13th Annual Patton Lecture: “Plant Virus-Aphid Vector Molecular Interactions and Associated Technologies”
by Professor Bryony Bonning, Iowa State University
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 12.15 PM
Department of Entomology, 2123 Comstock Hall

http://www.angeladouglaslab.com/the-annual-patton-lecture.html

2014 Patton Symposium Hemiptera Day
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 9.30 AM to 4 PM
2123 Comstock Hall

 

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