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Project for Research Experiences for Undergraduates

2012 Summer Program, June 11 - August 3, 2012

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

Title: Harnessing the arsenal of nature: developing natural pesticides

Mentors: Dr. Vladimir Protopopescu (Mathematics), Dr. Kimberly Gwinn (Plant Pathology), and Dr. Dan Ryan (Mathematics)

photo. Plants, insects and microorganisms ensure their survival by producing an arsenal of natural chemical weapons to escape herbivores, predators and competitors. Research in the laboratory of Dr. Kimberly D. Gwinn is aimed at achieving and maintaining the critical goal of sustainability by developing highly effective, environmentally friendly, low-toxicity bioactive natural products for food preservation and as viable alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides. In the 2012 REU, students will examine the effects of essential oils on spore germination and growth of a biological control fungus. The goal of this research is to develop predictive models for the development of 'stacked' natural control systems.


Abstract of project report (PDF)

Return to REU 2012.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported 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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