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Source: John C. Reese, 785-532-4708,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-2535.
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-2535,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University entomologist John C. Reese has been recognized for his career contributions in making crops and other plants resistant to insects.

Reese was honored at the recent International Plant Resistance to Insects 19th biennial workshop in Charleston, S.C., receiving an award that noted his outstanding and meritorious contributions to plant resistance to insects.

Reese said the field of host plant resistance got its start in 1926 when Reginald Painter arrived at K-State.

"He started releasing insect resistant varieties of sorghum and wheat within just a few years of his arrival, started teaching the first course in host plant resistance in 1937, and published the first book on plant resistance to insects in 1951," Reese said.

Today, Reese teaches K-State's premier course in host plant resistance and has built on Painter's legacy.

Reese has been at K-State since 1982 and is an expert in plant resistance to several species of aphids, including greenbugs, soybean aphids, green peach aphids and pea aphids. He uses a technique called the Electrical Penetration Graph in which a feeding aphid completes an electrical circuit, resulting in waveforms that tell the researcher where the piercing-sucking mouthparts are inside the plant and what they are doing.

"We are very proud of John Reese and of the scientific contributions he and his group have made in the field of host plant resistance," said Tom Phillips, head of K-State's department of entomology. "John has a great ability for picking the right projects and assembling the right collaborators for successful research. K-State's department of entomology is fortunate to count John among our members."