Ping Wang

Ping Wang

Associate Professor

619 Barton Laboratory
(315) 787-2348

My research is centered on the understanding of the biochemical and molecular basis of insect midgut physiology and interactions of the midgut with host plants and microbial pathogens. The research objectives primarily cover two aspects. The first is focused on the biochemistry and molecular physiology of the insect midgut. This major research focus aims at the understanding of important physiological and defensive mechanisms in the midgut and identifying novel target sites for insect control. The second is to apply the fundamental knowledge obtained from the basic studies to development of insect control strategies. My current research projects are focused on the identification and functional studies of midgut genes and their protein products from a lepidopteran, Trichoplusia ni, by taking EST (expressed sequence tag) sequencing and bioinformatic approaches and using biochemical and molecular techniques. Particularly, I am interested in the midgut genes and their products that play important roles in metabolism of and adaptation to plant chemicals, in interaction with microbial pathogens and in resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. The long term objectives of my researches include elucidation of defense and resistance mechanisms of insects against insecticidal chemicals and microbial pathogens, identification of new insect target sites (mechanisms) and development of novel strategies for insect control with the knowledge obtained from my basic studies.

Research Focus

My research is centered on the understanding of the biochemical and molecular basis of insect midgut physiology and interactions of the midgut with host plants and microbial pathogens. The research objectives are multifaceted. My fundament research aims at the understanding of important physiological and defensive mechanisms in the midgut and identifying novel target sites for insect control. Current research projects are focused on the identification and functional studies of midgut genes and their protein products, and molecular genetics of resistance to insecticidal toxins in a lepidopteran, Trichoplusia ni, using biochemical and molecular approaches, genomic and proteomic technologies, and insect genetic manipulation techniques. Particularly, we are interested in the midgut genes and their products that play important roles in metabolism of and adaptation to plant chemicals, in interaction with microbial pathogens and in resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. The long term objectives of research include elucidation of defense and resistance mechanisms of insects against insecticidal chemicals and microbial pathogens, identification of new insect target sites (mechanisms) and development of novel strategies for insect control with the knowledge obtained from our basic studies.

Outreach and Extension Focus

My extension program covers molecular diagnostics and examination of insects important in agriculture in New York. We perform identification of invasive/exotic insects and differentiation of species that are morphologically difficult to identify, so as to provide information of insect pest occurrence to government regulatory staff, researchers and growers. We also examine insect population differentiation and movement, so as to provide information on insect pest populations to Cornell colleagues and other researchers in IPM. With this unique extension emphasis which combines both field and laboratory research expertise, our extension program is an integrative component with other extension programs at Cornell to identify and monitor invasive insect pests, identify insect pests that are unidentifiable using conventional morphological criteria with field specimens (such as morphologically damaged specimens and immature stages of many insect species) and differentiate insect populations using molecular techniques.

Selected Publications

Journal Publications