When insects feed on crop plants they release saliva or other secretions that may inadvertently mobilize plant defenses against the insect attackers. Plants may 'recognize' these cues found in secretions or excrement that are left behind during their feeding. These cues may then 'vaccinate' the plant to protect it against future attack. The identification of these cues may aid in the development of new pest management strategies and/or by guiding the development of resistant crops against insect pests. These new approaches may help reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and thus help protect the environment from the undesirable effects of pesticide use. We will also study how some insects are stealthy in their feeding habits and thus avoid mobilizing plant defenses. This will help us understand how some insects can achieve pest status. Training the next generation of scientists will be an important aspect of this project. We will also incorporate the scientific training and mentoring of undergraduate students from minority serving institutions as part our project.
|Effective start/end date||4/1/11 → 3/31/16|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $456,929.00