Dr. Matt Kaiser from the Iowa State University Department of Entomology will be presenting a seminar as part of the Department of Entomology's spring semester seminar series.
Abstract: Soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) is an invasive economic pest of soybeans in North America and its introduction has led to a large increase in insecticide use. These insecticides only provide benefits for the fields where they are applied however, and recent reports of insecticide resistance have raised questions about their long-term effectiveness. Two alternative strategies for regulating this pest are importation biological control and host plant resistance in the form of Rag (resistance to Aphis glycines) genes. These two strategies represent the two main pathways by which herbivorous insect populations are regulated: top-down (biological control) and bottom-up (host plant resistance and other plant-mediated traits). A major question in ecology, as well as for this system, is how these two pathways may interact and whether they may be used as complementary tools for pest control over a wider area than individual fields. This is particularly relevant here since any adoption of Rag genes in the field will be in the context of biological control by aphid natural enemies already present in the environment. This seminar will highlight work done in the lab and field to predict and evaluate effectiveness of these two control strategies for soybean aphid.