Research assistant positions available at NCSU

Up to 3 Research Assistant positions are available at the Center for IPM at North Carolina State University to work with citrus or other fruit tree diseases and/or insect vector systems to advance basic and applied understanding or the biology, detection, sampling and/or management of associated plant pathogens. The incumbents will be responsible for: (1) Active participation in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of microbiological, epidemiological, and molecular techniques for laboratory, greenhouse or field experiments; (2) Independent research design and performance of protocols for molecular and epidemiological studies using specialized equipment such as real-time PCR apparatus, compound and stereo microscopes, and have the ability to adjust protocols and develop new methods when necessary; (3) Independent performance of statistical analyses of experimental data using general statistical packages as well as specific software supplied by the lead scientist, tabulation and summarization of statistical output, preparation of graphical presentation of results and aid in preparation of written reports; (4) work in collaboration with other Biological Scientists and Technicians in conduct of laboratory, field, or greenhouse research, and assurance that they comply with procedures for research conduct under quarantine conditions. The incumbent’s duty station will be the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Click here for the full posting and to apply.

AgriLife Research team makes strides in fight against Zika

There’s a war raging on a tiny battlefield and the outcome could well touch millions of people worldwide threatened by Zika and related viruses. The key ally unlocking the mystery surrounding this conflict is the long-dreaded yellow fever virus.

Dr. Kevin Myles, Glady “Hazitha” Samuel and Dr. Zach Adelman are Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists at Texas A&M University, College Station, who published “Yellow fever virus capsid protein is a potent suppressor of RNA silencing that binds double-stranded RNA.”

The paper appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Go to http://bit.ly/2eYsyIQ. Continue reading

UK students provide monarchs a rest stop and nursery

by Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

It’s an epic journey by a creature so fragile that it is almost beyond the imagination. Thousands of times a monarch butterfly’s wings stroke the air, buffeted by winds and soaked by rains on its 3,000-mile autumn trip from southern Canada to central Mexico. Faced by numerous threats, their populations are in decline. University of Kentucky graduate student Jerrod Penn decided to study people’s interest in helping the butterfly.

Penn, who is working on his doctorate in agricultural economics in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, spent the summer conducting a survey of 800 people in Lexington to find out what they know about the plight of the monarch and how much they’re willing to support efforts to help the butterflies. Continue reading

NIFA Grants Focus on Youth Farm Safety and Agricultural Careers for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $832,830 in grants for two new projects, one that empowers veterans, older Americans and others with disabilities to pursue or maintain careers in agriculture, and another to deliver farm safety education to youth seeking employment or already employed in agricultural production.

“Agricultural safety and access are key to a thriving agricultural community,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Through our investments in AgrAbility, we are providing assistance and educational resources to help people with disabilities manage their ranches and farms. Our Youth Safety program ensures that the farming and ranching families have the latest best practices to keep families safe.”  Continue reading

APHIS Adds All Cut Flowers & Greens to Exempted Host List for Light Brown Apple Moth in California

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is extending the exemption of select cut flowers and succulents to include all commercially produced cut flowers and greens for the light brown apple moth (LBAM) exempted host list. The exempted host list is posted at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/planthealth/lbam .

“Exempt host commodities” are exempt from the conditions required in the LBAM Federal Domestic Quarantine Order for interstate movement of regulated articles. The exemption is applicable only to commercially-produced commodities based on the pest mitigations provided through industry standards of production, harvesting, and packaging practices for each of the exempted commodities. Commodities that are not produced using these industry practices remain subject to the program requirements for interstate movement. New commodities added to the list are in bold font. Continue reading