- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
He will be hosted by colleague and collaborator Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis.
"Thrips-transmitted, tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), which has an extremely broad host range and is transmitted exclusively by thrips, ranks among the most economically important plant viruses affecting crops worldwide," Kennedy says in his abstract.
"Effective management of this virus in commercial crop production systems requires an understanding of the factors that determine the timing and magnitude of virus spread. This seminar will discuss the ways in which seasonal weather events influence the dispersal dynamics of vector thrips populations, the abundance of virus inoculum sources in the landscape, and ultimately the timing and magnitude of TSWV spread into susceptible crops. It will further provide an illustration of how efforts to model these relationships improved understanding of the epidemiology of TSWV and led to the development of a TSWV risk prediction tool that is now being used in pest management decision making."
Kennedy, past president of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), is an ESA fellow, recipient of the ESA's Award for Excellence in Entomology and chaired the Entomological Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is “to excite and educate young people about science through insects.”
He also served as program manager for the National Research Initiative, affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and on numerous advisory panels for the USDA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Research Council, addressing issues relating to pesticides, pest resistance, integrated pest management, and biotechnology.
Kennedy holds a bachelor's degree in entomology from Oregon State University and a doctorate in entomology from Cornel University. He served as assistant professor of entomology at UC Riverside from 1974-1976, before joining the faculty at North Carolina State University.
Kennedy writes on his website: "Research in my program focuses on understanding the ecology and life systems of arthropods affecting agricultural crops and applying that understanding to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of arthropod management in vegetable crops. We study fundamental interactions and processes that influence pest status, population dynamics and the insect/crop interactions that result in damage. We apply the resulting information in combination with new technologies to enhance IPM. Areas of emphasis include insect-plant interactions, resistance management, landscape scale population dynamics, and epidemiology and management of insect transmitted plant viruses. Current research projects focus on understanding the determinants of tospovirus transmission by thrips in relation to epidemiology and management of tomato spotted wilt virus and on the development of reduced risk arthropod management systems for fruiting vegetables. These efforts include both field and laboratory research and collaborations with faculty in Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology at NCSU and colleagues at other institutions. We also work closely with extension colleagues, growers and the agribusiness community to facilitate implementation of new pest management practices."
The seminar will be recorded for later viewing on UCTV Seminars.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Professor Diane Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is a key organizer, along with George Kennedy of the North Carolina State University Department of Entomology, Neil McRoberts of the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology and Robert Kemerait of University of Georgia.
The first conference, to take place May 14-16, is “Enhancing Risk Index-Driven Decision Tools for Managing Insect-Transmitted Plant Pathogens,” sponsored by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA NIFA/AFRI). Ullman is co-principal investigator of the five-year, $3.75 million grant awarded in 2012 from the USDA AFRI/NIFA to develop and implement a national scientific and educational network to limit thrips-caused crop losses. This conference will convene experts in modelling, risk assessment, and innovative IPM technology in an intimate setting to discuss the latest breakthroughs in modelling insect vectored plant pathogen threats and mobile applications for risk assessment and management strategy assessment. Early bird registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15t and can be accessed at registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15th and can be accessed at http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Registration/ and http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/ respectively.
Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans. The pests cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops as direct pests and in transmitting plant viruses in the genus Tospovirus, such as Tomato spotted wilt virus. “There are23 additional approved and emerging tospovirus genotypes transmitted by at least 14 thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae),” said Ullman, who has been researching thrips and tospoviruses since 1987.
The May 14-16 workshop will feature speakers and discussions focused on development and deployment of risk index-driven tools for the management of vector-borne diseases, including modelling, epidemiology, risk assessment and user interfaces. Researchers will discuss decision tools, risk assessment in managing insect vectors and pathogens in crops, and accomplishments, challenges and gaps. Early registration is underway. Scientists are invited to submit abstracts (see http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/)
The May 16-20 symposium will feature presentations of common interest to both insect and virus research areas during morning sessions and a poster session. It will also include specialized discussions, and contributed presentations in the afternoon and evening.
“This is a unique opportunity to convene leading international scientists, extension specialists, and individuals in the agricultural industry to share and discuss the latest findings in thrips and tospovirus biology, ecology and management,” said Ullman. Registration is now underway. Scientists who seek to participate are invited to submit poster and contributed talk abstracts, Ullman said. The deadline to submit abstracts is March 15 (http://ucanr.edu/sites/ISTT10/Participate/).