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K-State Today

March 22, 2021

Punya Nachappa to present Entomology Seminar at 4 p.m. March 23

Submitted by Tania Kim

Punya Nachappa from Colorado State University will present the next Entomology Seminar at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, via Zoom. The title of her talk is "Wild Wild West: Emerging pests and pathogens of hemp."

Nachappa is an assistant professor in the agricultural biology department and a K-State alumna. She is an insect vector biologist, and her research seeks to understand outcomes and mechanisms underlying the interactions between the environment, plants, pathogens and insect vectors.

Seminar abstract: With the current interest in hemp as a crop to be produced within the U.S., there is a paucity of information about associated pests and diseases, and their management. Much of my research at Colorado State University is focused on understanding diversity and distribution of viruses and viroids of hemp. Using metagenomic next-generation sequencing, we characterized the virome of hemp which revealed several novel viruses and viroids. Research is underway in my lab to characterize virus-vector interactions in one of the most predominant hemp viruses in Colorado, beet curly top virus and beet leafhopper interaction. We demonstrated that a newly identified aphid, cannabis aphid is an efficient vector potato virus Y, one of the most serious potato viruses in Colorado and worldwide. This suggests that hemp will serve as a source of virus inoculum for other economically important crops grown in the vicinity. Lastly, I will discuss innovative IPM strategies for control of an eriophyid mite, hemp russet mite, which is one of the most important pests of hemp.

For more talk by the entomology department, please visit the website