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Project for Research Experiences for Undergraduates

2011 Summer Program, May 31 - July 22, 2011

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Title: Effects of Essential Oils on a Biocontrol Fungus

Mentors: Dr. Vladimir Protopopescu (Mathematics), Dr. Xavier Thibert-Plante (Mathematics), and Dr. Kimberly Gwinn (Plant Pathology)

Mushroom photo. Effective environmentally-friendly tools for disease and insect pest management are needed for use in sustainable agriculture. Our laboratory has shown that bioactive herbages (dried, ground leaves of Monarda spp.) that contain specific essential oils protect tomato against damping-off diseases. We have optimized seed treatment with Beauveria bassiana and demonstrated that plants derived from treated seed are protected from seedling diseases and insects. Although natural products and entomopathogenic fungi play significant roles in sustainable production, there is little data on the compatibility of these agents. In preliminary studies we have demonstrated that some of the essential oils impact the spore germination and subsequent growth of B. bassiana. The specific aim of the NIMBioS REU project is to produce models that capture the impact of essential oils from bioactive herbage on germination and growth of B. bassiana. These models will be used to predict compatibility of technologies.


Abstract of project report (PDF)

Return to REU/REV 2011.

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NSF logo. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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