The Center provides the basic research foundation necessary for the applied goals of industry. Research projects, prioritized at the outset by the industry members, fall within the following areas:

  • Insect resistance
  • RNA interference
  • Novel target sites
  • Methods

Currently funded projects include:

  • Mechanisms of transcytosis across the insect gut:

       How are some proteins able to move from the gut into the hemocoel of an insect?

  • Characterization of digestive proteases and nucleases in stink bugs:

       What enzymatic challenges will be faced by agents used for suppression of stink

       bug populations?

  • Mechanisms of RNA interference:

       Why does RNAi work so well in beetles, but not in other insects?

  • Toward increased efficacy of soybean cyst nematode management tools:

       Development of innovative techniques for high-throughput, sensitive assessment of effects

       of nematode management compounds on the soybean cyst nematode life cycle

  • Establishment of midgut cell lines from select pest insects:

       Development of methods and establishment of continuous cell lines from the midgut of

       selected pest insects to use for assessment of potential pest suppression agents

  • Enveloped porous nanoparticles for RNA delivery to insects:

       Utilizing porous silica nanoparticles to deliver RNA and small proteins into insect cells,

       and investigating methods to facilitate the entry of nanoparticles into the cytoplasm via


  • A toolkit to explore soybean cyst nematode genomic diversity:

       Leveraging the recently assembled draft genome of the soybean cyst nematode to advance

       our understanding of the genetic diversity and pathology of soybean cyst nematodes