Fall 2011

How does it work? Biomechanics at Valdosta State University

Dr. Ted Uyeno
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology

Thursday,  August 25, 2011 4pm

Filarial worm vector competence in the mosquitoes Aedes polynesiensis and Aedes riversi: Implications for the control of lymphatic filariasis in the South Pacific.

Dr. Eric Chambers
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  Aedes polynesiensis is the primary vector of lymphatic filariasis (LH) in many of the island territories and nations of the Pacific while Aedes riversi, a closely related member of the (Stegomyia) scutellaris complex is not a competent vector for filariasis. Here I will present results from microscopic examinations of both mosquito species when each is exposed to the filarial worm Brugia pahangi. Qualitative and quantitative differences in parasite invasion and development will be presented. The future role that genetic and genomic analysis will play in identifying the determinants of filarial worm vector competence in mosquitoes will also be discussed. An understanding of how mosquito gene function impacts parasite development in mosquitoes could play a critical role in developing strategies for halting mosquito-borne disease transmission.

Thursday,  September 1 , 2011 4pm

There is no seminar this week


Hosting Dept:

Thursday,  September 8, 2011 4pm

Trends in Sky-Cover Variables for the Midwest and Northeastern U.S. and the Possible Role of Contrails

Dr. Jason Allard
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences

Thursday,  September 15, 2011 4pm



Hosting Dept:

Thursday,  September 22, 2011 4pm

Elucidation of the Photorhabdus temperata genome and comparative genomics

Sheldon Hurst
University of New Hampshire

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  Entomopathogenic nematodes in the family Heterorhabditidae form an obligate association with its bacterial partner members of Photorhabdus sp. The growth and development of this nematode has an obligate requirement for the microbial symbiont. Joined with the bacteria, the nematode actively seeks out insects to infect. After penetrating the insect, the bacteria are released within the hemocoel, where Photorhabdus rapidly replicates producing a multitude of virulence factors and other natural products. For three Photorhabdus species, genome sequences for only two species  (P. luminescens and P. asymbiotica) have been established.  We have determined a draft genome sequence of the third species, P. temperata strain NC19. The 5.2 Mb genome was organized into 17 scaffolds and has an average G + C content of 43.3% The genome encoded for 3 rRNA operons, 69 tRNAs, and 4,808 CDS.  Analysis of the genome identified genes involved in important predicted functions including nonribosomal peptide synthases (NRPS), toxins, proteases, lipases, and adhesins. These data were compared to genomes of the other sequenced Photorhabdus genomes to provide greater insight into the symbiosis and host-pathogen associations and will be discussed.

Thursday,  September 29, 2011 4pm

Lyme disease: North vs. South

Dr. Lorenza Beati
Georgia Southern University

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  In the U. S. the epidemiology of Lyme disease, caused by spirochetes of the genus Borrelia and transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks, has been studied extensively in the Northern part of its distribution area. In the South East, the prevalence of the disease in animals and humans is lower. The reasons for this difference are multiple and not completely understood. Population genetics studies of the tick vector, of the pathogens, and of the association between Borrelia spp. and other tick species are providing additional clues and generating new questions.

Thursday, October 6, 2011 4pm

A Long, Winding, Life-changing Road from Biology to International Relations

Megan Gorman
Center for Latin American Studies, Stanford University

Hosting Dept: Biology

Thursday, October 13, 2011 4pm

What can Science do about the Social Controversy surrounding the Theory of Evolution?

Dr. David Long
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover “Intelligent Design” Trial, Pennsylvania Federal Court Judge John Jones ruled that Intelligent Design, as presented, was not science—and was not an appropriate alternative theory to be taught in science classes. Some scientists and educators thought that this ruling would bring an end to any social controversy regarding evolution. It has not. Why? What can science do? David Long, an educational ethnographer and science educator, presents insights from his ethnographic work with Creationist students and teachers. As he will discuss, a minority of science teachers nationwide are themselves Creationists and a majority downplay or omit evolution from the curriculum due to social pressure. Long will review the depth of Creationist sentiment in the education profession, how this effects science understanding from K-graduate school, what doing nothing about this situation means, and what scientists can do about it.

**This Seminar will be held in Bailey Auditorium located in the Bailey Science Building Rm 1011**

Thursday, October 20, 2011 4pm

Paleoclimate reconstruction using stable isotopes of paleosols, an example

Dr. Weimin Feng
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Physics, Astronomy, & Geosciences

Thursday, October 27, 2011 4pm

Comparison of visual disease rating and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) diagnostic methods to detect TSWV in peanuts

Dr. Phat Dang
National Peanut Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS
Dawson, GA

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  Plants grown in the field can be naturally infected with viruses which can reduce plant health and result in yield loss. In the southeastern United States, Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is a major problem in peanut with estimated losses exceeding $40 million. Infected peanut plants show a wide range of visual symptoms including concentric ring spots, leaf chlorosis, stunting, deformity and discoloration of pods and kernels, even death of severely infected plants. Visual disease rating of foliage is performed at mid-season and before harvest, and rating of root and pod are performed at harvest. A laboratory method, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), is also available to confirm the presence of viral proteins in infected tissues. Improved TSWV resistant peanut varieties Georgia Green, Georgia-03L, AT 3085RO, and a breeding line Exp27-1516 were compared to a susceptible variety Flavor Runner 458. Peanuts were planted at five planting dates starting in late April through early June for the years 2008 and 2009 at two locations: Headland, AL and Dawson, GA. Visual disease ratings of foliage were performed at mid-season and prior to harvest. Testing for TSWV utilizing ELISA was performed with tap root collected at mid-season or at harvest. Comparison of visual disease rating with ELISA showed variability in the percentage of agreements between the two diagnostic methods. In general, there is a higher percentage of agreement at mid-season compared to at harvest. A more detailed description of the experimental results will be discussed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 4pm

Cancer Research - Bench to Clinic: The story of Simotaxel (Taxol analog)

Dr. Phong Vu
Florida State University

Hosting Dept: Chemistry


Abstract:  The search for the anticancer compound, now named paclitaxel, from the national forests was initiated in 1962 with the collection of barks from the yew tree T. brevifolia through the collaborative efforts of the NCI and the USDA. After two decades of preclinical research, the compound was cleared for IND filing with the FDA in 1982. Due to the cost and difficulties encountered in the clinical development, the task was transferred from the NCI to BMS through a CRADA.  After 10 years, its NDA filing was done in 1992.  Due to the shortage of T. brevifolia, BMS filed a SNDA for the semi-synthetic version of the compound in 1993 and it was approved the next year.  In that same year, Rhone-Poulenc filed the NDA for the first analog named docetaxel. The analog Simotaxel was synthesized at Taxolog Inc. in 2001 and went through the preclinical development stage.  Here again due to the cost of clinical development, the compound was transferred to Wyeth Pharmaceutical and its IND was filed in 2004.  In a period of three years, Simotaxel went from the bench to the clinic.  This talk will discuss the chemistry, preclinical development, cGMP manufacturing, IND filing and some preliminary clinical results for Simotaxel.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 4pm

Managing fungal diseases in organically managed peanut field

Dr. Emily G. Cantonwine
Department of Biology
Valdosta State University

Hosting Dept: Biology


Abstract:  Over 40% of all US grown peanuts are grown in Georgia, but the percentage of organically grown peanuts in the State is near zero. One reason is that pest pressures, which are typically managed using synthetic pesticides not allowed in organic production, tend to be greater in the southeastern US. Peanut is plagued by many fungal pathogens, including the early and late leaf spot pathogens Cercospora arachidicola and Cercosporidium personatum, respectively, and seed and seedling pathogens such as Rhizopus sp, and Aspergillus niger. This seminar will review research efforts to develop efficacious organically acceptable disease management strategies for peanut grown in the hot and humid Southeast.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 4pm

End of semester