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Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab

Insect Pathology/ Biotechnology Lab


Job Opportunities in the Lab

Current opportunities in the Bonning lab are listed on the Entomological Society of America job site. Additional jobs and student opportunities are listed by the Department of Entomology & Nematology.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF.

Clebson Graduates!Close-up of Clebson dos Santos Tavares

Congratulations to Clebson! Dr. Tavares graduated May 2023 with his PhD entitled “Midgut surface proteome of Diaphorina citri and toxicity of gut-targeting insecticidal proteins for use in citrus greening management”. He plans to continue in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow to work on Asian citrus psyllid – Liberibacter asiaticus molecular interactions.

Marley receives scholarshipPortrait of Marley Iredale

Congratulations to Marley on her receipt of a 2023 Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Scholarship. This award promotes the professional development of graduate students with exceptional promise in research that benefits bees, beekeepers and/ or the apiculture industry. The scholarship provided $5,000 plus all expenses paid for Marley to attend and present her research at the 2023 American Beekeeping Federation Conference on January 3-7 in Jacksonville, FL.


Bonning Lab End of the Year White Elephant PartyMembers of the Bonning lab celebrating in December 2022

The lab had many great laughs at the surprise gifts during our white elephant party on December 9, 2022. We also celebrated the contributions of Vanessa Gonzalez, Catherine Liu, and Ciara Magee to the lab. Best wishes for a successful future - you will be missed!

Welcome Saptarshi Ghosh!Portrait of Saptarshi Ghosh

We are happy to welcome Saptarshi Ghosh to the Bonning Lab. He joined the lab in November 2022 following postdoctoral work at the Agricultural Research Organisation Volcani Center in Bet Dagan, Israel and most recently the University of Georgia. He holds a BS in Agriculture from the Orissa Institute of Agriculture and Technology, an MS in Plant Pathology from the Bangalore University of Agricultural Sciences and a PhD from the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute. He has deep expertise in viruses vectored by insects, with a special interest in whiteflies.

Bonning Lab Research Experience for Undergraduates Students 2022Ashley Malcolm and Vanessa Gonzalez posing in the lab

Thanks to Ashley Malcolm and Vanessa Gonzalez for their contributions to the Bonning Lab's research into gut binding peptides of whiteflies, stink bugs, and aphids. Ashley and Vanessa's work included producing purified fusion proteins, feeding to insects and confirming binding to their guts using fluorescence microscopy. Your efforts are much appreciated!

Clebson awarded 2022 William C. and Bertha M. Cornett FellowshipA close up image of asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease. Photo credit M. Rogers.

Congratulations to Clebson Tavares for receiving the 2022 William C. and Bertha M. Cornett Fellowship of $1,500 from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences!

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Opening - Insect Virology / Cell Culture

A postdoctoral position is available to work on the replication of hemipteran viruses in insect cell culture. A major challenge for insect virology has been the lack of cell lines suitable for virus replication in non-lepidopteran species. The goal of this project is to screen continuous hemipteran cell lines for the presence of latent viruses, and to assess their ability to support the replication of viruses derived from various species of Hemiptera. Details and instructions for applying are provided in this pdf file.

Review of applications will begin on Thursday, August 25th, 2022 and continue until the position has been filled.

Clebson presents at Florida Entomological SocietyClebson dos Santos Tavares presenting his poster at the June 2022 Florida Entomology Society meeting

Clebson presented his poster, "Relative abundance of gut surface proteins in the nymphs and adults of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri" at the June 2022 Florida Entomological Society meeting.

Marley presents at Florida Entomological Society Marley Iredale presenting her poster at the June 2022 Florida Entomological Society meeting

Marley Iredale presented her poster, "Characterization of amoebic disease in a colony of western honey bees (Apis mellifera)" at the June 2022 meeting of the Florida Entomological Society.

Clebson awarded 2022 Pauline O. Lawrence ScholarshipClose-up of Clebson dos Santos Tavares

Congratulations to Clebson Tavares for receiving the 2022 Pauline O. Lawrence Scholarship in Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology in recognition of his research accomplishments. Clebson developed a novel, long term bioassay method for Asian citrus psyllid nymphs and recently published on the psyllid gut surface proteome:

Welcome Na XiePhoto of Na Xie

Na Xie joined the Bonning lab in June 2022. Dr.Xie is working on the gut of Asian citrus psyllid with the goal of mitigating the impacts of citrus greening. Her doctoral work at Virginia Tech focused on explaining the multiple resistance initiated by the Rdl mutation on the GABAA receptors and investigating the toxicology of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in Drosophila melanogaster.

Grace Crummer receives Superior Accomplishment AwardBryony Bonning, Grace Crummer, and Heather McAuslane at the March 15 2022 IFAS Superior Accomplishment Awards ceremony

K. Grace Crummer was recognized by the UF/IFAS annual Staff and Faculty Superior Accomplishment Awards Program for her work as Coordinator of the NSF Center for Arthropod Management Technologies (CAMTech). Grace received her certificate and award at the IFAS ceremony held on March 15th. Congratulations Grace!

Congratulations to Suresh Pannerselvam on his new position Lab group in Steinmetz courtyard wishing Suresh goodbye

We gathered to celebrate Suresh's accomplishments in the lab and congratulate him on his new position at the BioHPC unit of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Bioinformatics.

Congratulations to Rahul Bannerjee on his new positionBonning lab group picnicking at Lake Wauberg

We gathered in late October of 2021 to celebrate Rahul Bannerjee's accomplishments in the lab and congratulate him on his new position at Corteva AgriScience.

Postdoctoral Scholar Positions Available in Asian Citrus Psyllid Gut Physiology and Biotechnology

Two positions are available at University of Florida (UF) to work on disruption of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) vectoring of the causative agent of citrus A close up image of asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease. Photo credit M. Rogers.greening. This disease has devastated citrus production in Florida and now threatens citrus production in Texas and California. The bacterium presumed to cause this disease, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is transmitted by ACP. The goal of this project is to prevent ACP transmission of CLas by disrupting CLas interaction with the ACP gut. This project is funded by the USDA for collaborative research in the labs of Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), Lake Alfred, FL and Dr. Bryony C. Bonning, Department of Entomology & Nematology, Gainesville, FL. For more information, click here, or download this job listing. Review of applications begins November 1, 2021.

Postdoctoral Scholar Position Available in Insect Virology/ PhysiologyElectron microscope image of insect gut cilia

A postdoctoral position is available to work on the identification of virus receptors in pest lepidopteran species and characterization of molecular interactions between viruses and the insect gut epithelium. Responsibilities include 1) two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and ligand blot analysis to identify putative gut receptor proteins for lepidopteran viruses, 2) baculovirus expression of candidate receptor proteins, 3) testing of candidate proteins for their ability to mediate virus entry into the cell, and 4) delineating viral coat protein domains involved in receptor interaction. For more information, download the full job listing. Review of applications begins November 1, 2021.

Summer CAMTech REU StudentsPortrait of two summer 2021 undergraduate researchers

Ciara Magee (left) and Kendall Long (right) were the first of four students working on CAMTech projects, funded by the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Ciara and Kendall conducted 8 week internships during summer 2021. Ciara worked on the green peach aphid in Dr. Bryony Bonning’s lab, and Kendall worked on southern green stinkbug in Blair Siegfried’s lab.

Welcome Arinder AroraA headshot of Arinder Arora

Arinder Arora joined the Bonning lab in April 2021. Dr. Arora is working on gut receptors used by viruses that infect honey bees. He has extensive experience in insect molecular biology, RNAi, and paratransgenesis. During his postdoctoral work at Cornell University, he developed RNAi systems in various phloem feeding hemipteran insects. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from University of New Mexico.

Bryony Bonning Receives 2020 ESA Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology AwardDr. Bonning posing next to a butterfly sculpture

Dr. Bonning received the 2020 Entomological Society of America’s 2020 Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology for her work that led to significant advances in fundamental understanding of stink bug digestive physiology, the genetic optimization of baculovirus insectides, and novel approaches for the development of insect resistant transgenic plants. This article provides a more detailed description of the work that led to the award. The award was announced at the November 2020 ESA meeting; a summary recently appeared in The American Entomologist.

Clebson dos Santos Tavares Awarded ScholarshipClose-up of Clebson dos Santos Tavares

Clebson Tavares, a graduate student in the lab, was awarded the 2020 Pauline O. Lawrence Scholarship in Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology. This award honors exceptional creativity in research, problem solving and leadership. Clebson is conducting research on pathogen interactions with the Asian citrus psyllid gut, combining biochemical, microbiological, physiological, toxicological and molecular techniques.

Postdoctoral Scholar Positions Available in Honey Bee and Small Hive Beetle Virology / A beehive with many honey bees on the exteriorPhysiology

Two postdoctoral positions are available to work on 1) the identification and characterization of viruses from the small hive beetle, and 2) molecular interactions between viruses and the honey bee gut epithelium. Both projects are funded by the USDA in collaboration with Dr. Adam Dolezal, Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additional information and instructions for applying are detailed in this job listing.

Review of extraoral digestion in hemipterans publishedPicture of Emiliano Canton

Emiliano has published "Extraoral digestion: outsourcing the role of the hemipteran midgut" in Current Opinion in Insect Science.

New Resource Center for Bacterial Pesticidal Proteins Launched

The Bacterial Pesticidal Protein Resource Center (BPPRC) provides information on the rapidly expanding field of pesticidal proteins for academics, regulators, and research and development personnel. ​

Bacillus thuringiensis is no longer the sole source of pesticidal proteins. Recent genomic sequence data mining has shown that an ever-widening range of bacteria produce such proteins. The site provides information on the recently revised nomenclature system that clarifies the naming of newly discovered proteins, details on bacterial sources and an interactive database containing protein sequences and associated information. ​

New Nomenclature for Bacteria-derived Pesticidal Proteins Published

Neil Crickmore led a team that revised the system for naming Bacillus thuringiensis and other bacteria-derived pesticidal proteins. The nomenclature was recently published in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.

Welcome Grace OrtgiesenPortrait of Grace Ortgiesen

Grace Ortgiesen joined the lab in August 2020 as an incoming graduate student. Her masters' work will focus on establishment of hemipteran cell lines and the testing of those lines for susceptibility to viruses.

New naming system for Bacillus thuringiensis Pesticidal Proteins A colored image of Bacillus thuringiensis. Credit Neil Crickmore

Neil Crickmore, in collaboration with Colin Berry, Suresh Pannerselvam, Ruchir Mishra, Tom Connor, and Bryony Bonning, recently published "A structure-based nomenclature for Bacillus thuringiensis and other bacteria-derived pesticidal proteins".

This new naming system classifies these proteins into groups based upon their structural similarity, has created new classes such as Mcf, Mtx, and Mpf, and provides public access to the new database and associated user interface.

Review Paper on Honey Bee Cell Lines Now AvailableA honey bee resting on a gloved hand

Ya Guo, Cynthia Goodman, David Stanley, and Bryony Bonning's paper on "Cell Lines for Honey Bee Virus Research" has been published as part of a Special Issue of Viruses: Advances in Honey Bee Virus Research.

Emiliano Publishes on Digestive Enzymes of SGSB Raised on Different Plant Diets

Emiliano Canton's work on "Transcription and activity of digestive enzymes of Nezara viridula maintained on different plant diets" has been published in Frontiers in Physiology.

Congratulations to Mariah Kemmerer and Pavan Kumar on Their New PositionsThe lab celebrating Pavan and Mariah. Pictured are Suresh Pannerselvam, Jaime Jimenez, Ruchir Mishra, Grace Crummer, Mariah Kemmerer, Pavan Kumar, Clebson dos Santos Tavares, Bryony Bonning, Ya Guo, and Emily Vu.

We celebrated Mariah Kemmerer and Pavan Kumar and congratulated them on their new positions on November 8, 2019.  Mariah has accepted a teaching lab manager position with the University of Delaware. Pavan is moving to Johnston, Iowa to work at Corteva AgriScience.

Ya Guo Poster Receives 2nd Place Award at Florida Genetics SymposiumYa Guo receiving a certificate for her second place award in the postdoctoral poster competition at the Florida Genetics Symposium

Dr. Ya Guo received second place in the Postdoc Poster Competition at the UF Genetics and Genomics Symposium held November 4-5 for her poster entitled “Peptide-mediated Protection of the Honey Bee against Virus Infection”.  

Bryony Bonning Gives Doane Lecture at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Bonning presented "Orange juice, psyllids and Bt toxins" as the 2019 Charles Chesley Doane Lecture in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin on November 1, 2019.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Digestive Enzymes Paper Published

Sijun and Bryony have just published "The Principal Salivary Gland is the Primary Source of Digestive Enzymes in the Saliva of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys" in Frontiers in Physiology.

Work on Southern Green Stink Bug Midgut Proteases and Nucleases PublishedA southern green stink bug adult. Photo credit Lyle Buss

Emiliano and Bryony's paper "Proteases and nucleases across midgut tissues of Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) display distinct activity profiles that are conserved through life stages" has just been published in the Journal of Insect Physiology.

Bryony Bonning Presents at the Citrus ExpoCitrus affected by huanglongbing. Photo by TR Gottwald and SM Garnsey, USDA-ARS.

Dr. Bonning presented work on the use of Bt toxins against Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) at the 2019 Citrus Expo in Fort Myers, Florida. A news article about the approach is available here.

Jaime Jimenez Joins LabPicture of Jaime Jimenez

Jamie Jimenez joined the lab in September 2019 as a postdoctoral associate. Dr. Jiménez's research in the Bonning lab will focus on the molecular interactions between persistently transmitted virus particles within the whitefly vector.

Clebson dos Santos Tavares Joins LabPicture of Clebson dos Santos Tavares

Clebson dos Santos Tavares joined the lab in August 2019 as a new PhD student. His past research has focused on insect resistance to transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. He holds a MS in Entomology and a BS in Agronomy from Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil.

Suresh Pannerselvam, Colin Berry, and Neil Crickmore at the 2019 Society for Invertebrate Pathology meetingSuresh Presents Poster at Society for Invertebrate Pathology Meeting

Suresh Pannerselvam presented a poster entitled "Development of a Bacterial Pesticidal Protein Resource Center" at the Society for Invertebrate Pathology Meeting in Valencia, Spain July 28-August 1, 2019.

Insect Molecular Virology Book PublishedThe cover of the Insect Molecular Virology book

Caister Academic press has released “Insect Molecular Virology: Advances and Emerging Trends”, edited by BC Bonning. The book is available here.

Emiliano Canton Departs the LabThe lab group celebrating Emiliano May 2019. Present are Rahul Bannerjee, Grace Crummer, Mariah Kemmerer, Bryony Bonning, Pavan Kumar, Ruchir Mishra, Emiliano Canton, Ya Guo, and Suresh Pannerselvam

We bid farewell to Emiliano Canton in June. He is now the Scientific Communications Manager at CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Kristen Gaines Presents at Undergraduate Research SymposiumKristen Gaines presenting her poster at the undergraduate research symposium in 2019

Kristen Gaines completed the Undergraduate Scholars Program and presented her work at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 4th. Kristen worked on development of a long term nymph bioassay for Asian citrus psyllid.

Suyog Kumar Departs the LabDecember 2018 celebration of Suyog. Present are Mariah Kemmerer, Ya Guo, Suresh Pannerselvam, Ruchir Mishra, Grace Crummer, Pavan Kumar, Emiliano Canton, and Suyog Kumar. Photo credit Bryony Bonning

We celebrated Suyog Kumar's successes in the lab in December 2018.

Emiliano Canton Presents at Florida Genetics Symposium

Dr. Emiliano Cantón presented "Tissue-specific transcription of proteases and nucleases across the accessory salivary gland, principal salivary gland and gut of Nezara viridula" at the Florida Genetics Symposium 2018 on October 31st. The journal article related to this presentation has now been published.

Phase II Funding for CAMTech is Awardedlogo of the center for arthropod management technologies

Dr. Bryony Bonning and Dr. Subba Reddy Palli (UK) were awarded Phase II funding for CAMTech from NSF. These funds will support the Center for Arthropod Management Technologies' operations through 2023.

Rahul Bannerjee Joins the LabA picture of Rahul Bannerjee

Dr. Bannerjee joined the lab in June 2018 to work on the modification of Bt toxins to enhance their toxic effects towards relevant hemipteran pests. Dr. Banerjee previously studied lepidopteran insect resistance mechanisms to Bt crops at a genetic level. During his PhD and first post doc at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bannerjee worked in the areas of biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. He also holds a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta.

Ya Guo Joins the LabPhoto of Ya Guo

Dr. Guo joined the lab in March 2018 to work on honey bee virus infection mechanisms, with the goal of developing new protective strategies against viral infections. She previously studied the functional role of host vesicular trafficking related factors during baculovirus infection. She holds a PhD in Entomology from Northwest A&F University, China. During her PhD program, she spent two years at Cornell's Boyce Thompson institute (BTI) as a joint training PhD student. She also holds BS degree in Plant Protection from Northwest A&F University, China.

Suresh Pannerselvam Joins the LabPhoto of Suresh Pannerselvam

Dr. Pannerselvam joined the lab in January 2018. He is developing a pesticidal protein database and an improved classification algorithm. Suresh holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Science and Technology from Ajou University, South Korea, with a Brain Korea (BK21) Scholarship funded by the Korean government.  He has also been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India.

Archived Lab News

Bonning Lab news from ISU prior to 2017 is listed in the Bonning Lab ISU News Archive.