Bill White

 

 

Research Entomologist

 

USDS-ARS Sugarcane Research

 

EMAIL: william.white@ars.usda.gov

 

DEGREES: B.S. 1975 Texas A&M University

                  M.S. 1977 Oklahoma State University

                  Ph.D. 1981 Mississippi University

 

 

 

Current Research Interests

 

The objectives of the entomology effort at the Sugarcane Research Unit are to identify mechanisms of resistance to insect pests of sugarcane, determine inheritance of resistance and identify new sources of resistance to insect pests. Procedures to screen large populations of seedlings and clones for sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis, are being developed. By utilizing these procedures in a recurrent selection program, the level of sugarcane borer resistance has been increased within parent and progeny populations. By crossing highly resistant parental lines, the level of sugarcane borer resistance among commercial varieties will increase to levels that exceed currently recommended varieties. Future research will be done to determine the possible role of sugarcane allelochemics in conferring resistance to the sugarcane borer, with the goal of developing a non-biological assay for identifying resistance to the sugarcane borer. Additional research will include screening newly released cultivars for their reaction to the yellow sugarcane aphid, Sipha flava.