UK researchers one step closer to corn earworm control

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Findings from a University of Kentucky student’s undergraduate research experience could help farmers control one of their most troublesome pests.

Alonna Wright, a junior from Morgantown, Ky., works with a genetically selected, mutant form of a nudivirus. This nudivirus causes a sexually transmitted disease only found in the corn earworm. In one-third of the cases in nature, virus infection results in insect sterility. The genetically selected form causes an insect STD resulting in 100 percent sterility, and as Wright has found, could give a boost to the naturally occurring virus to make it more effective. Continue reading