Monitoring insect vectors and developing integrated pest management strategies to control insect-transmitted pathogens in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
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Insect vectors of plant and human pathogens pose an important threat to food production and human health, respectively. Understanding their population levels, their basic biology, molecular biology, and efficacy of diverse intervention strategies will directly benefit food security and healthy Texans. This project will monitor the populations of a sap-feeding (potato psyllids) and blood-feeding (mosquitoes) insect vectors of bacterial and viral pathogens affecting vegetable crops or people in the state of Texas. Furthermore, this project will use a combination of tools to better manage these insect vectors and the pathogens they transmit having a direct impact not only in Texas but the rest of the country. This new knowledge will be shared with the scientific community and the general public for the betterment of our local growers and communities in the state and especially those along the Texas - Mexico border.