Investigating wireworm species composition in southern Idaho and evaluating ecological factors (natural and human-induced), which may predict both patterns of species distribution and the extent of crop damage, are key aspects of this area of research. In a collaborative approach, we are also evaluating efficacy of biological control agents against wireworms. Our projects are supported by USDA-ARS-NIFA, Idaho Wheat Commission and Idaho Barley Commission.

Barley yellow dwarf disease


Our research on Barley yellow dwarf virus is focused on, i Evaluating the degree of susceptibility and physiological responses of several commonly planted winter wheat cultivars, at different developmental stages, to BYDV infection, ii Quantifying BYDV transmission efficiency from wild alternative hosts to cultivated cereals by the bird cherry-oat aphid vector. BYDV research in our program is supported by the Idaho Wheat Commission.  

Zebra Chip disease


Identifying potential sources of resistance and/or tolerance to Zebra Chip and post-harvest disease progress are the main areas of our research on this disease complex. Our objectives are achieved through quantifying vector-plant-pathogen interactions during host development and pathogen-potato tuber interaction post-harvest. Our zebra chip studies are supported by the PNW Potato Consortium and USDA-ARS-NIFA.