Group behavior and chemical signaling as drivers for entomopathogenic nematode foraging and infection dynamics

This is a multi-institutional $500K grant which is awarded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI) Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems for the next 2.5 years.  It is titled: “Group behavior and chemical signaling as drivers for entomopathogenic nematode foraging and infection dynamics”.

The institutions include Pheronym (Dr. Fatma Kaplan), USDA-ARS in Georgia and Florida (Drs. David Shapiro and Hans Alborn), the University of Georgia (Dr. Paul Schliekelman) and the University of Idaho (Dr. Ed Lewis). We at Pheronym are very excited to be part of this great team to identify the signals to increase entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) market share in biocontrol market for sustainable and eco-friendly food production by increasing their efficacy and reliability of EPNs.

These awards are competitive grants with a funding rate of 5-10% of the applications.

Community outreach to improve nutrition for the homeless

According to USA Today Oct 17, 2017.  The world hunger strikes the first time in the past 15 years. Approximately 800 million in the world do not have enough food to live a healthy life. Pheronym is committed to helping solve world hunger crises. As a company, we develop eco-friendly solutions to control pest so farmers can grow a lot of food to feed the growing world population. Our employees are just as committed to helping solve the hunger crises.

Our lab manager, Abigail, serves GRACE Marketplace (shelter) for food security by working on the community garden in her free time and participating in the collaborative team (University of Florida Community Health, Family Medicine, and Rutgers University, and IFAS) for grant writing and being a community liaison for the GRACE Marketplace.

Her team is presenting at Stetson University’s 2018 Poverty and Homelessness Conference on March 9th on behalf of GRACE Grows Garden.

Farm-to-Table Garden Project Study: Assessment of Nutritional Needs Among the Homeless Population and Building a Farm-to-Table Garden to Address Negative Health Outcomes of Poverty

 

Global outreach

Florida Congressman Yoho and Vietnamese Ambassador visit start-ups at the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator in Alachua, FL.

Pheronym lab manager Abigail provided a tour of Pheronym lab at the Sid Martin.  She explained how biocontrol works for agricultural pest control.

Pheronym uses pheromones of microscopic roundworms, called nematodes. We are first to bring nematode pheromones from lab bench to the market to improve the efficacy of commercial beneficial nematodes for insect control.

Community youth outreach

Lab manager Abigail at Pheronym is explaining how biocontrol works for agricultural pest control and how Pheronym uses pheromones from microscopic roundworms to improve the efficacy of commercially available beneficial nematodes for insect control.