POST DOC – Whitefly Toxicologist at the University of Georgia
Insecticide resistance in whitefly pest population in the SE USA has been an on-going issue for many years. A new USDA funded project in the University of Georgia Vegetable Entomology Laboratory, Project Leader David Riley https://ent.uga.edu/people/faculty/david-riley.html, is starting a new effort to fully characterize insecticide resistant whitefly populations in Georgia. The position will be specifically focused on toxicology technologies for whiteflies, including dose-response (LC50) determinations, induction of metabolic detoxification and testing for pre- and post-treatment responses, and molecular techniques for determining the presence and frequency of insecticide resistance genes. Following the insecticide bioassays, surviving insects will be preserved in RNAlater and stored at -40C until RNA and DNA extraction can be performed. Total RNA will be extracted with a Direct-zol RNA miniprep kit (Zymo Research) according to the manufacturer’s protocol, after which first-strand cDNA will be generated using SuperScript VILO master mix (Invitrogen). Genomic DNA will be extracted using an E.Z.N.A. Insect DNA Kit (Omega Bio-tek). cDNA and genomic DNA will be stored at -80o until assayed. Standard PCR will be used initially to screen for known mutations conferring target-site resistance. Specific mutations will be described above for each class of insecticide. Primers will be designed to amplify only wild-type (susceptible) targets, so failure to amplify the target will imply a mutation relative to the wild-type sequence. The specific mutation will be identified by amplifying and sequencing (in both directions) a region of ~600 bp around the suspected mutation site. Various PCR machines (including a MJ Research PTC-200 nad an Eppendorf MasterCycler Gradient machine) are available at the Athens campus. Amplifications will use Phusion Taq (New England Biolabs), a proofreading Taq polymerase, to minimize chances of PCR-induced errors. The whitefly colony rearing, bench top bioassays, field collections / testing, and sample preparation for RNA and DNA extraction will be conducted on the UGA Tifton Campus. PCR work will be conducted at the UGA Athens Campus and all travel costs for this work will be covered by the project, but the candidate is expected to live in or near Tifton. In addition to the development of refereed journal articles from this work, the candidate will summarize insecticide resistance management information for public use through a whitefly management website and present findings at professional meetings. To apply, see https://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/179372, fill out the application form and send your unofficial college transcripts directly to email@example.com .