Biotech Updates

Entomologists Study Potential Environmental Impact of Energy Crop

April 8, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded a grant of $938,105 for five years to the team of Tim Kring from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, to conduct an extensive study on the insect population dynamics of the switchgrass, an alternative feedstock for biofuels. The largest acreage of switchgrass at 40 acres will be planted and studies on insect dynamics on the switchgrass field on nearby fields of other crops and the non-crop landscape will be conducted.  

To aid in the study, James Hagler at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Western Cotton Research Laboratory in Phoenix will deploy a new method to follow the movement of insects using a unique protein marker-based technique. The marker is based on the common proteins found in trapped insects.

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