Global look at hop viruses: Michigan and the Netherlands

Hop (Humulus lupulus and related species) is an important global crop valued for conferring taste and anti-microbial properties to beer. Virus and viroid infections impact hop yield and quality throughout the world, but infections do not always cause clear symptoms and may be overlooked in field surveys. To deepen understanding of hop infections and their global…

Feature: Dieke Boezen, The Netherlands Institute of Ecology

Ph.D. Student, Microbial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). MSc, Biology, Evolution and Biodiversity, Wageningen University. BSc, Ecology and Evolution, University College Roosevelt. We are excited to welcome Dieke Boezen to the lab this January for a short research exchange. Plant Biology undergraduate Maggie Jones had the pleasure of interviewing her. The interview was lightly…

Diagnostic testing for virus & viroid infections in hop

Hops are an important crop worldwide and a key ingredient for beer production. Hop plants (Humulus lupulus) are attractive to many insects and microbes, so disease management is an important part of hop production. Through support from Project GREEEN, we developed and tested molecular diagnostics for hop virus and viroid infections that are common in…

Alumni Feature: Anna Busch, Agronomy Educator with Penn State Extension

M.S., Entomology, Penn State. B.S., Plant Biology, Michigan State University Can you tell us a bit about your current job? Anna: I am an Agronomy Educator with Penn State Extension covering a five-county region. One of the main parts of my job is working with farmers. I teach pesticide education and safety to help farmers…

The future of detecting plant viruses

With the world abuzz about COVID-19 and climate change, viruses are at the forefront of many people’s minds. Over 4,000 viruses have been described to date (1,000 of which infect plants), and many more await detection. Identifying viruses in humans is important to the field of medicine, just as detecting them in plants is important…

Hidden virus infections in wild dryland plants near human landscapes

Worldwide, nature reserves are increasingly surrounded by “domesticated” landscapes that have been converted to housing, industry, and agriculture. But how is human activity and land use influencing ecological dynamics within these remnant wild areas? To investigate how plants in urban and natural areas interact, the Malmstrom lab worked with UC Riverside PhD student Tessa Shates…

Harvest season in full swing

The 2020 harvesting of experimental plots at the MSU Entomology Farm began in NF01 on October 31st. The pictures and videos here show this first day of harvest in action! Studying these long-term plots will aid in the development of switchgrass as a crop to produce biofuel that could be used in vehicles. The yield…

Generalist pest leafhoppers widespread in prairies embedded within working landscapes

The leafhopper family (Cicadellidae, Order Hemiptera) contains over 22,000 species that are common in temperate grasslands, agricultural landscapes, and other vegetation. Leafhoppers are ecologically important, serving as herbivores, prey, and pathogen vectors. Due to their close association with prairies, the conservatism of leafhopper communities also provides valuable information about prairie quality and management. This study…