Area of expertise: The Insect Molecular Ecology and Adaptation Laboratory (IMEAL) investigates molecular interactions between insects and their environment, identifies genes that are favored during adaptation, and develop management strategies that limit pest impacts. Thus, the goal of my program is to integrate basic biological and evolutionary research to solve applied research problems.
My overall goal is to understand how insect pests adapt to rapidly changing selection pressures in agroecosystems such as host-shifting to important crops or resistance to management tactics. A lack of understanding of how insect pests adapt limits the effectiveness and sustainability of insect management, and threatens agricultural production. Specifically, my research focuses on characterizing the genetic basis for insect pest adaptation and how these adaptive traits spread across the landscape. Our research methods range across scales, from molecular to ecosystems, and include genome sequencing, gene expression, molecular marker analysis, and migration and gene flow estimation across a species distribution. Understanding and demonstrating how insects adapt, as well as communicating research-based insect management recommendations, delays the evolution of resistance or emergence of pests and ensures safer and more productive food supply.
• Research (70% appointment): My Insect Molecular Ecology and Adaptation Laboratory (IMEAL) determines molecular interactions between insects and their environment, identifies genes that are favored during adaptation, and develop management strategies that limit pest impacts. Thus, the goal of my program is to integrate basic biological and evolutionary research to solve applied research problems. Currently, my laboratory focuses on major crop pests such as the invasive soybean aphid (the most important insect pest of soybean), the diamondback moth (a serious pest of vegetables), and western bean cutworm (an emerging corn pest). My program is also highly interdisciplinary, providing my expertise to other CFAES and OSU departments through graduate student committees and research projects.
• Extension & Outreach (30% appointment):Field crops are at constant risk from insect attack, and control technologies are rapidly changing. Recommending the best control tactic involves integrating basic and applied research and provides impact to the OSUE Signature Program: Food Security, Production, and Human Health. Through collaborations with multiple stakeholders (farmers, government, industry and commodity organizations), my extension responsibilities focus on determining the best insect management practices and discussing the biology and data supporting these recommendations with clientele.
PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (past 2 years)
Bansal, R. B., M. A. R. Mian, O. Mittapalli, and A.P. Michel. Molecular characterization of soluble trehalase gene and its enhanced expression in alate Aphis glycines, a migratory pest of soybean. Bulletin of Entomological Research. In Press.
Chen, Y., B. Cassone, X. Bai, M. Redinbaugh and A. Michel. 2012. Transcriptome of the plant virus vectorGraminella nigrifrons, and the molecular interactions of Maize fine streak rhabdovirus transmission".PLoS:One. 7: e40613.
Bansal, R. B., P. Mamidala, M. A. R. Mian, O. Mittapalli, and A.P. Michel., "Validation of reference genes forgene expression studies in soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura". Journal of Economic Entomology. 105: 1432-1438.
Orantes, L. O., W. Zhang, M. A. R. Mian, and A. P. Michel. 2012. Maintaining genetic diversity and population panmixia through dispersal and not gene flow in a holocyclic heteroecious aphid species.Heredity.109: 127-134.
Jun, T.-H., M. A. R. Mian, S.-T. Kang and A. P. Michel. 2012 Genetic mapping of the powdery mildew resistance gene in soybean PI 567301. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 125: 1159-1168.
Jun, T.-H., A. P. Michel and M. A. R. Mian. 2012 "Genetic mapping revealed two loci for soybean aphid resistance in PI 567301B". Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 124: 13-22.
Jun, T-H., A. P. Michel, and M. A. R. Mian. 2012. Characterization of EST-based microsatellites from the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines. Journal of Applied Entomology. 136: 614-625.
Molecular Ecology Resources Primer Development Consortium. 2012. Development and characterization of microsatellite loci for the convergent ladybeetle, Hippodamia convergens. Molecular Ecology Resources. 12:185-9. (Michel, A. P., W. Zhang, and M. M. Gardiner, co-authors). E-Pub: December 2011.
Michel, A. P., O. Mittapalli, and M. A. R. Mian. 2011. Evolution of Soybean Aphid Biotypes: Understanding and Managing Virulence to Host-Plant Resistance. In: Soybean: Molecular Aspects of Breeding. pp. 355-372. Ed. A. Sudaric. INTECH publishing, Vienna, Austria. (invited book chapter).
Rodríguez, G., S. Muños, C. Anderson, S.-C. Sim, A. Michel, M. Causse, B. McSpadden-Gardener, D. Francis and E. van der Knapp. 2011. Distribution of SUN, OVATE, LC and FAS in the tomato germplasm and their role in fruit shape diversity. Plant Physiology. 156:275-85.
Jun, T.-H., M. A. R. Mian and A.P. Michel. 2011. Genetic mapping revealed two loci for soybean aphid resistance in PI 567301B. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 124:13-22.
Michel, A. P., S. Sim, T. Powell, M. Taylor, P. Nosil, J. Feder. 2010. Natural selection generates widespread genomic divergence during sympatric speciation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.107: 9724-9. Article featured in: Kelleher, E. S. and D. A. Barbash. 2010. Expanding islands of speciation. Nature. 465: 1019-1020. Edtior’s Choice, Science. 328:1209.
Bai, X., W. Zhang, L. Orantes, T-H. Jun, O. Mittapalli, M. A. R. Mian, and A. P. Michel. 2010. Combining next-generation sequencing strategies for rapid molecular resource development from an invasive aphid species, Aphis glycines. PLoS:One. 5(6): e11370.
Michel A.P., M. A. R. Mian, N. H. Davila-Olivas, L. A. Cañas. 2010. Detached leaf and whole plant assays for soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) resistance: differential responses among resistance sources and biotypes.Journal of Economic Entomology. 103:949-57
Michel A. P., W. Zhang, M. A. R. Mian. 2010. Genetic diversity and differentiation among laboratory and field populations of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines. Bulletin of Entomological Research. May 27:1-8.
Michel, A. P., C. Krupke, C. DiFonzo and T. Baute. 2010. Ecology and management of the western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith), in corn and dry beans. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 1:1-10