Conservation of the Sodium Channel between Different Insects is Explored

The voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC) is essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials. The VSSC can change sodium kinetics by producing different splice variants (optional and mutually exclusive exons). The VSSC is the target site of pyrethroid insecticides as well as DDT and oxadiazines, which are used for control of crop pests and vectors of human diseases. Unfortunately, knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations in Vssc confer resistance to these insecticides. Recently, Silva and Scott 2019 investigated the conservation of VSSC by three approaches: (1) across insect Orders, (2) codon constraints of kdr mutations between populations of Aedes aegypti and (3) within a population of Drosophila melanogaster. Overall, VSSC is highly conserved across insects and within a population of an insect but important differences do exist. Read more:


Insecticide resistance monitoring of House flies

House flies have evolved resistance to most insecticides, and as insecticide use continues over seasons it is expected that levels of resistance will rise. Freeman et al. recently investigated ( flies collected from livestock facilities in five states to check levels of resistance against three commonly used insecticides. A population collected from Kansas had previously unseen high levels of resistance to permethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, that could mean this type of insecticide will be of limited use for house fly control in the United States in the near future.


Insecticide resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and sour rot

Control of sour rot in grapes is commonly achieved using insecticide to control D. melanogaster.  2018 was one of the worst years for sour rot in grapes in New York in decades. Sun et al. report that the outbreak of sour rot at one NY vineyard was associated with an inability to control D. melanogaster due to the evolution of resistance.

Understanding the causes of insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti

Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) carry out the detoxification of insecticides, and overexpression of one or more CYPs is a common mechanism of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. Smith et al. investigated the molecular basis for CYP-mediated resistance in A. aegypti and found that overexpression of the CYPs responsible for resistance was due to a trans-regulatory factor.  Read more

Juan Silva Presents to the American Mosquito Control Association

Juan Silva gave a presentation entitled “Codon constraints of knockdown resistance mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel of Aedes aegypti” at the Annual Meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association in Orlando FL on February 26, 2019.

Ronda Hamm

Congratulations to Dr. Ronda Hamm (’04 MS, ‘08 PhD) who received the 2018 Medal
of Honor from the Entomological Foundation for her outstanding contributions to
entomological outreach. She is currently the global academic relations manager for
Corteva Agriscience.

Leticia Smith

Leticia Smith

Congratulations to Leticia Smith who received  the 2018 American Committee of Medical Entomology Young Investigator Award – Graduate Student Travel Award.  This award is in support of her attendance at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans this Fall.  The title of her presentation is “The relative fitness cost of two pyrethroid resistance mechanisms, CYP-mediated detoxification and kdr, in Aedes aegypti”.

Graduated with research distinction

Alicia Williams, Colin Sears and Laura Telfer will all graduate with research distinction after successfully completing the requirements for their honors programs.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALICIA, COLIN AND LAURA!!  A special note of thanks to Jamie and Leticia who served as the research mentors for Alicia and Colin.


Leticia Smith received an ACS AGRO Division 2018 Education Award


Leticia Smith received an ACS AGRO Division 2018 Education Award to support her attendance at the upcoming American Chemical Society National meetings in Boston.

Congratulations Leticia!!

Jeff Scott Selected as ESA Science Policy Fellow

Jeff Scott was selected by the Entomology Society of America to be one of the five new Science Policy Fellows (SPF).   These Fellows serve as visible and effective advocates for entomology and entomological research, and engage with lawmakers, legislative staff, and federal agency leaders in Washington, DC.

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