As part of our outreach efforts, the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology offers diagnostic lab services, workshops, training courses, web publications and more.
Entomology Web Publications
So, what do you know about the butternut woolyworm, twig girdler or redheaded pine sawfly? Learn about these and a variety of other insects through our entomology web publications.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
We work closely with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to offer a variety of workshops, training courses, articles, handbooks and other materials and events.
Outreach Services and Projects
The Alabama Fire Ant Management Program is a cooperative effort of Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology with Alabama A&M University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service. The Alabama Fire Ant Management Program is funded by the Alabama State Legislature through the Department of Agriculture and Industries.
The Fescue Diagnostic Laboratory was implemented in 1983 to serve the needs of Alabama cattle producers who needed to have pastures and seed of tall fescue tested for the presence of the endophyte which causes fescue toxicosis in cattle.
The Plant Diagnostic Laboratory serves to identify insect samples, analyze soil samples for plant parasitic nematodes, and examine plant samples for disease, insect, nutrient, cultural and herbicide problems.
The use of commercial crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins has increased in recent years due to their advantages over crops that require traditional chemical insecticides. In Alabama alone, between 300,000 and 400,000 acres of Bt cotton have been grown annually since 1996. However, in crops such as cotton that are plagued by several pests with varying degrees of susceptibility to Bt, there is concern that the toxins will not be strong enough to kill all pests. The result would be reduced efficacy of the Bt and increased risk of pests developing Bt resistance. Additionally, reliance on a single (or similar) Bt protein(s) for insect control increases the likelihood of Bt resistance development. Plant-specific recommendations to reduce Bt resistance development include increasing Bt expression levels (high dose strategy), expressing multiple toxins (gene pyramiding), or expressing the protein only in tissues highly sensitive to damage (tissue specific expression).