Rooney, Alejandro P
Supervisory Research Geneticist
CROP BIOPROTECTION RESEARCH, NCAUR
1815 N. UNIVERSITY STREET
Peoria IL 61604
The Crop Bioprotection Research (CBP) Unit impacts global food security and safety concerns as it addresses National research needs for new biological methodologies and products that promote the production of safe food crops. Biological pest control methods are sought to augment existing sustainable approaches for managing insects, weeds, and plant diseases while reducing the exposure of the environment and food supply to potentially harmful chemical pesticides. New biological technologies which utilize agricultural products in innovative ways are also devised to expand crop markets. The overall mission of CBP is to first identify fundamental bioactivities naturally contributed by microbes, insects, and plants and then utilize this knowledge to design new biological methods, processes, and products that foster crop health. The program is driven by the combined strengths of a wide range of scientific disciplines including microbiology; physical, organic and biochemistry; molecular biology; entomology; plant pathology and plant physiology. Current research objectives include: 1) discover novel biocontrol agents and develop cost-effective production, stabilization, and formulation processes for microbial biocontrol agents that substantially reduce plant disease, insects, and weeds; 2) identify pheromones and host volatiles to create unique insect lures, traps, and monitoring systems; and 3) determine the nature of plant-based, insect-resistance mechanisms and related strategies that can be utilized to reduce mold toxins in Midwest corn.