Backyard Orchard News
A honey bee, that is.
Research entomologist Jay Evans of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS) will discuss "What's It Like Inside a Bee? Genetic Approaches to Honey Bee Health" at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminar from 12:10 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4 in 122 Briggs Hall.
The Marin County Beekeepers will host the bee scientist.
"Honey bees are the preferred agricultural pollinators worldwide, and are important natural pollinators in Europe, Asia, and Africa," Evans says. "The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is both aided and abused by humans, leading to a worldwide distribution on one side, and alarming regional die-offs on the other. Primary causes of honey bee colony death range from inadequate nutrition to stress from chemical exposure and maladies caused by a diverse set of parasites and pathogens."
"Often, domesticated honey bees face two or more stress agents simultaneously. Genetic approaches are being used to determine and mitigate the causes of bee declines. Genetics screens are available for each of the major biotic threats to bees, and screens have been used to determine risk levels for these threats in the field. Thanks to extensive analyses of the honey bee genome, tools are also available to screen bees for heritable traits that enable disease resistance, and to query the expressed genes of bees to infer responses to chemicals and biological stress. This talk will cover genetic insights into honey bee health, disease resistance and susceptibility to chemical insults."
Evans received his undergraduate degree in biology at Princeton and his doctorate in biology from the University of Utah. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Georgia, where he became interested in honey bees. After a brief project on queen production at the University of Arizona, he joined the USDA/ARS as a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD.
He is especially interested in insect immunity and in the abilities of social insects to evade their many parasites and pathogens. He focuses his projects on a range of bee pests including the American foulbrood bacterium, small hive beetles, nosema, viral pests and varroa mites.
Evans was an early proponent of the Honey Bee Genome Project and helped recruit and organize scientists interested in applied genomics for bees. He has improved and applied genetic screens for possible causes of colony collapse disorder and is now heading a consortium to sequence the genome of the Varroa mite in order to develop novel control methods for this key pest.
Plans call for recording the seminar for later posting on UCTV.
A honey bee necatring on lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's time to get the red in.
And if you're a red lady beetle, aka ladybug, you need not worry. Ditto for the gentlemen lady beetles. You're good to go.
The second annual "UC Davis Wears Red Day," an educational effort to spread awareness about heart disease, takes place Friday, Feb. 6, when everyone--that is, everyone--is invited to Hutchison Field from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to get the red in.
Last year some 2,500 people — students, staff, faculty and area residents — grouped for a photo. Some held red umbrellas to ward off the drizzle.
Officials said the 2015 event will feature a Battle Heart Disease Fair. Visitors are invited to learn about heart disease at the information booths. The group Zumba will entertain for 15 minutes, starting at 11:30 a.m..Dining Services will offer snacks--healthy snacks--and beverages at a discount.
Cardiologist Amparo Villablanca, professor and director of the UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program, will field questions at 11:45 a.m.
To ensure folks have red to wear, all UC Davis Stores will be selling t-shirts in advance. The good news is that $2 from every sale will benefit the cardiovascular medicine program.
And the other good news is: lady beetles need not worry about what to wear.
"Appropiately dressed" lady beetle, aka lady bug. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
On your tour of World Ag Expo 2015, make sure to come by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) exhibits at Pavilion A and B (northwest corner of the Expo), clustered at booths 1411, 1412, 1512 and 1513.
Booth 1411 - UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County office
Serving local Californians since 1913, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) maintains offices throughout the state through a partnership between local county governments, UC ANR, and the US Department of Agriculture. UC Cooperative Extension advisors help identify and solve local problems through research and educational programs that focus on the evolving needs of growers, youth, families, agencies, policy makers and the general public.
Staff will provide specialized programming for an Agriculture Day (Tuesday, Feb. 10), a 4-H/Nutrition Day (Wednesday, Feb. 11), and a UC Master Gardener Day (Thursday, Feb. 12).
The Research and Extension Center System (RECS), which extends from the Oregon border in the north, through the Sierra Foothills and Central Valley, and along the Pacific Coast and south to the border of Mexico, includes sites in a wide variety of California ecosystems, allowing researchers and extension educators to effectively address regional challenges and issues. It is the only UC statewide program that can provide researchers with a premier research management organization including land, labor, facilities and equipment, in a wide variety of real-world, outdoor growing environments, where they can pursue new knowledge for the benefit of agricultural and resource science, industry, and the general public.
Centers are also focal points for community participation and active involvement in finding ways to address current and relevant regional agricultural and natural resource challenges. The RECS centers support projects involving county-based cooperative extension advisors and campus-based research specialists, as well as researchers from Land-Grant institutions in other states, the California State University (CSU) system and USDA as they conduct their research and education programs.
Booth 1412 - UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center (KARE)
Officially dedicated in 1965, KARE has achieved international acclaim for leadership in the development of new fruit, nut and grape varieties, innovative cultural and irrigation practices, pest and disease management techniques, and new understandings of postharvest biology. KARE plays a leadership role in maintaining the quality of California's rural environment, with programs in air, soil and water quality and mosquito management.
Booth 1512 - UC ANR Lindcove REC (LREC)
Established in 1959 by San Joaquin Valley citrus growers, Lindcove REC covers more than 100 acres growing more than 400 citrus varieties. At LREC, scientists conduct research to evaluate new varieties of citrus and improved citrus-growing techniques and new ways to manage pests. Extension educational programs carry the practical results of this research to citrus industry clientele and the general public.
Booth 1513 - University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Come learn more about the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, our history, and our research and programs across the state. You can also download our Cultivating California brochure.
UC ANR is a statewide network of University of California researchers and educators dedicated to providing individuals, communities, and industries with science-based information and solutions to address the important issues California is currently facing.
- 4 Agricultural Experiment Station – UC campus-based research
- Research and Extension Centers (REC)
- 50+ UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) County Offices
- 6 statewide programs focused on high-priority concerns
- Agricultural Issues Center (AIC)
- California Naturalist Program
- IGIS - Informatics and Geographic Information Systems
- Integrated Pest Management
- Master Gardener Program
- Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program (SAREP)
- Youth, Families and Communities Program
UC ANR is an engine for problem solving, working with industry to develop and improve agricultural markets, help keep a good balance in international trade, address environmental concerns, protect plant health, and provide farmers with scientifically tested production techniques and the tools necessary to maintain a safe food supply for consumers.
Other UC ANR booths:
- Outdoor booth M54 - UC Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) –
CASI has over 2,100 university, farmer, National Resources Conservation Service, and private-sector partners working to develop and evaluate a wide range of cropping system alternatives for California's diverse cropping sectors. The practical coupling of agricultural production and strategies for water conservation via efficient tillage and irrigation are important aspects of CASI's current work.
- Booth 6014 - UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center
- Booths 8013 & 8014 - UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Map of the UC ANR network.
Girl scouts, parents and scout leaders investigated pest management and agricultural careers at the GIRL Expo organized by Girl Scouts of Central California South on January 24, 2015. The annual scouting event attracts more than 1,200 visitors from Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties for a day of “learning by doing” and inspiring girls to take action for their planet and their communities.
Roberta Barton and Julie Sievert represented UC ANR Kearney Agricultural, West Side and Lindcove Research and Extension Centers at an interactive information booth in the “CSI” area. In keeping with the crime scene investigation theme, different “crop science investigation” dioramas were presented containing clues to common pests and pest management methods. Girls and adults had fun using their powers of observation and child-sized magnifying glasses to identify the usual “suspect” for each scene from among a gallery of “wanted” mug shot posters for aphid, rodent, weed, Asian citrus psyllid, snail, and slug pests. Curious visitors were drawn to the REC booth to participate in the engaging hands-on learning activity, get seed packets, and have a chance to win a California Naturalist bug observation kit.
Roberta Barton helps girl scouts and adults identify pest damage, pests, and management strategies.
The two conferences will draw international scientists, Extension specialists, and agricultural industry professionals, among others.
Professor Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a former associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a key organizer, along with George Kennedy of the North Carolina State University Department of Entomology, Neil McRoberts of the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology and Robert Kemerait of University of Georgia.
The first conference, to take place May 14-16, is “Enhancing Risk Index-Driven Decision Tools for Managing Insect-Transmitted Plant Pathogens,” sponsored by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA NIFA/AFRI). Ullman is co-principal investigator of the five-year, $3.75 million grant awarded in 2012 from the USDA AFRI/NIFA to develop and implement a national scientific and educational network to limit thrips-caused crop losses. This conference will convene experts in modelling, risk assessment, and innovative IPM technology in an intimate setting to discuss the latest breakthroughs in modelling insect vectored plant pathogen threats and mobile applications for risk assessment and management strategy assessment. Early bird registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15t and can be accessed at registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15 and can be accessed at http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Registration/ and http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/ respectively.
The second conference is the Xth International Symposium on Thysanoptera and Tospoviruses, to be held May 16-20. "This meeting is the tenth in a series of international symposia that, over 30 years, have grown to be the dominant vehicle and venue for information exchange between scientists investigating problems related to thrips and tospoviruses around the world," Ullman said. "These symposia have been instrumental in extending knowledge and producing new solutions and innovations in thrips and tospovirus management worldwide, by providing a forum for sharing research findings and integrating fundamental and applied knowledge."
Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans. The pests cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops as direct pests and in transmitting plant viruses in the genus Tospovirus, such as Tomato spotted wilt virus. “There are 23 additional approved and emerging tospovirus genotypes transmitted by at least 14 thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae),” said Ullman, who has been researching thrips and tospoviruses since 1987.
The May 14-16 workshop will feature speakers and discussions focused on development and deployment of risk index-driven tools for the management of vector-borne diseases, including modelling, epidemiology, risk assessment and user interfaces. Researchers will discuss decision tools, risk assessment in managing insect vectors and pathogens in crops, and accomplishments, challenges and gaps. Early registration is underway. Scientists are invited to submit abstracts (see http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/)
The May 16-20 symposium will feature presentations of common interest to both insect and virus research areas during morning sessions and a poster session. It will also include specialized discussions, and contributed presentations in the afternoon and evening.
“This is a unique opportunity to convene leading international scientists, extension specialists, and individuals in the agricultural industry to share and discuss the latest findings in thrips and tospovirus biology, ecology and management,” said Ullman. Registration is now underway. Scientists who seek to participate are invited to submit poster and contributed talk abstracts, Ullman said. The deadline to submit abstracts is March 15 (http://ucanr.edu/sites/ISTT10/Participate/).
It's going to be a busy seven days--May 14-20--at the Asilomar Conference Center...
UC Davis entomologist Diane Ullman is a key organizer of the two conferences focusing on insect-vectored pathogens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)