Subtropical Insects And Horticulture Research Unit
The Subtropical Insects Research Unit conducts basic and applied research on insect pests of citrus and other subtropical and tropical fruits, ornamentals, vegetables and grapes. Information on the biology, biochemistry, chemistry, ecology, molecular biology and physiology of insects and their interactions with plants and plant pathogens is obtained to improve or design new management strategies. Research includes:
Evaluation and study of insect vectors of plant diseases
Biological control of insect pests by use of parasitoids, predators, pathogens and other beneficial organisms
Biochemical and Molecular characterization of plant defenses proteins and phytochemicals.
Chemical ecology of insect pests including discovery, identification and synthesis of insect attractants for monitoring and mating disruption.
Sampling methods for insect pests.
Basic biology and ecology of insect pests and their natural enemies.
Host plant resistance to insect pests.
Insect pests currently being studied include the Asian citrus psyllid (vector of citrus greening disease); Diaprepes root weevil, glassy-wing sharp shooter (vector of Pierce's disease in grapes and citrus variegated chlorosis in citrus); whiteflies; pink hibiscus mealybug; and citrus leaf miner.
Questions and/or comments: Lenora.Willis@ars.usda.gov