My current research projects are focused on characterization of field-evolved Bt resistance in western corn rootworm (WCR) (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). I am involved in monitoring and quantifying evolution of Bt-resistance and cross-resistance (for Cry3Bb1, mCry3A, and Cry34/35Ab) in WCR field populations from various locations in Iowa. We use single plant bioassays, seedling mat bioassays, diet bioassays and field experiments to measure Bt resistance. I am evaluating performance of commercially available corn hybrids with single genes and pyramided Bt genes for managing WCR in cornfields. We are developing dynamic economic threshold for WCR management in Iowa. I am also investigating of inheritance, stability and fitness cost of the Bt resistance of WCR in the laboratory. We are conducting QTL analysis of Bt-resistance using SNP markers and planned to develop molecular marker for Bt-resistant trait.
I have a decade of research experience and interest in insect ecology and biology. More specifically, my experience is in insect-plant interaction, intercrop movement, integrated pest management, landscape management, population genetics, genetic diversity, community structure, biological control, insecticide resistance, molecular marker development, insect morphometry, and sampling plan development of various pest species.