Our research is focused on investigating the role of endogenous neuropeptides, hormones and other signaling molecules on the regulation of the immunity and cardiac activity of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).
We approach this focus in the following manner:
- Combination of cell and molecular biology and physiology techniques to understand how physiological processes are regulated in BMSB
- Pharmacological interventions to elucidate the cell signaling cascades that regulate these dynamic physiological processes
- Screening of endogenous plant endotoxins and other biopesticides to selectively target BMSB while not harming any beneficial agricultural insects
Identifying critical physiological processes that contribute to the spread of BMSB throughout our ecosystems, can allow us to best determine how to selectively target these pest insects. Therefore the long-term goal of our research is to be able to identify physiologically-relevant gene targets and potential lead compounds for development by the agrochemical industry into BMSB-specific biopesticides.