Insects and Microbes

A world leader in entomology research
The UGA Department of Entomology is ranked No. 8 in the world among university entomology programs (2017, Center for World University Rankings). That ranking rests on the department's well-balanced strengths in basic, applied and directed science. Our deep, diversified team of outstanding scientists across Georgia enables the department to respond to urgent needs, like controlling an outbreak of whiteflies attacking food crops or identifying new pests like kudzu bugs and brown marmorated stinkbugs appearing in fields or ports. While applied scientists work to get the immediate issue under control, basic scientists go to work in the lab to understand the insect biology and seek long-term control solutions. Entomology is an integral part of UGA multidisciplinary teams working to improve agriculture at home and around the world. The unit plays a role in ensuring the success of every area of agriculture but also impacts public health, animal health and environmental health.
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Entomology Research News

A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base. CAES News
A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base.
Supergene in fire ants may lead to understanding of developmental behaviors
A unique study conducted by University of Georgia entomologists led to the discovery of a distinctive supergene in fire ant colonies that determines whether young queen ants will leave their birth colony to start their own new colony or if they will join one with multiple queens. Researchers also found that ants were more aggressive toward queens who don’t possess the supergene, causing colony workers to kill them. This critical finding opens the door to new pest control methods that may be more efficient in eradicating problematic fire ant colonies. 
Swelling (galls) produced by the root-knot nematode on the roots of okra grown on an organic farm in Georgia. CAES News
Swelling (galls) produced by the root-knot nematode on the roots of okra grown on an organic farm in Georgia.
Integrating biological controls for root-knot nematodes, weeds in organic farming
While weeds and plant parasites are a concern for all agricultural producers, organic producers are doubly challenged to combat these problems without chemical solutions. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a University of Georgia researcher is working to discover and integrate biological products and cover crops to control nematodes and weeds in organic vegetable production.
Ashfaq Sial is leading a multistate team of researchers to develop and implement long-term sustainable strategies to control spotted wing drosophila. CAES News
Ashfaq Sial is leading a multistate team of researchers to develop and implement long-term sustainable strategies to control spotted wing drosophila.
UGA professor receives $5.4 million grant to combat destructive Asiatic fly
The University of Georgia has just been awarded a $5.4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) to develop long-term sustainable methods for controlling the spotted wing drosophila.