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George Kennedy

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Agriculture

Ecology and Management of Insect Pests Affecting Agricultural Crops

Research Annex West A


My research program focuses on understanding the ecology and life systems of arthropods affecting agricultural crops and applying that understanding to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of IPM. Research spans sub- organismal, organism, population, community and agroecosystem levels of biological organization and addresses fundamental interactions and processes that influence pest status, population dynamics and the insect/crop interactions that result in damaging infestations. We apply the resulting information in combination with new technologies and strategies to enhance IPM and to develop and implement risk-based pest management decision aids. Areas of current emphasis include insect-plant interactions, resistance management, landscape-scale population dynamics, and epidemiology and management of thrips and whitefly transmitted plant viruses. Current research projects focus on the following: understanding the relationships between multi-crop pesticide (or GM-trait) use patterns, pest population genetic structuring, and pesticide resistance in polyphagous insect pest species to inform resistance management; characterizing the influence of whitefly and thrips vectors on genetic diversity of begomoviruses and orthotospoviruses affecting crops; and integrating virus and vector resistance to manage thrips-borne orthotospoviruses. Additional on-going efforts focus on the ecology and management of thrips as agricultural pests. These efforts include a blend of field and laboratory research and involve collaborations with faculty in Entomology, Plant Pathology, Plant and Microbial Biology, and Biochemistry at NCSU as well as colleagues at other institutions nationally and internationally. We also work closely with extension colleagues, growers, and the agribusiness community to facilitate implementation of new pest management practices.



ENT 762 Insect Pest Management in Agricultural Crops

Selected Publications:

  • Kennedy, G.G. and N. P. Storer. 2000. Life systems of polyphagous arthropod pests in temporally unstable cropping systems. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 45: 467-493.
  • Kennedy, G.G. and T.B. Sutton (eds) 2000. Emerging Technologies in Integrated Pest Management: Concepts, Research, and Implementation. APS Press, St. Paul, MN 534 pp.
  • Kennedy, G.G. 2003. Tomato, pests, parasitoids, and predators: tritrophic interactions involving the genus Lycopersicon. Annu. Rev. Entomol 48:51-72.
  • Sang-Hoon, Sin. Brian C. McNulty, George G. Kennedy and James W. Moyer. 2005. Viral genetic determinants for thrips transmission of Tomato spotted wilt virus. PNAS. 102: 5168-5173.
  • Nault, B.A., A.M. Shelton, J.L. Gangloff-Kauffmann, M.E. Clark, J.L. Warren, J.C. Cabrera-LaRosa, and G.G. Kennedy. 2006. Reproductive strategies of onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in onion fields and their associations with Wolbachia, temperature and insecticide susceptibility. Environ. Entomol. 35: 1264-1271.
  • Cabrera_LaRosa, J.C. and G.G. Kennedy. 2007. Thrips tabaci and Tomato spotted wilt virus: inheritance of vector competence. Entomol. Expt. Appl. 124: 161-166.
  • Stumpf, C.F. and G.G. Kennedy. 2007. Effects of Tomato spotted wilt virus isolates, host plants, and temperature on survival, size and development of Frankliniella occidentalis. Entomol. Expt. et Appl. 123: 139-147.
  • Morsello, S. and G.G. Kennedy. 2008. Local temperature and precipitation explain variation in spring dispersal of Frankliniella fusca (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Environ. Entomol. 37: 79-86.
  • Romeis, J., A.M. Shelton and G.G. Kennedy (eds.). 2008. Integration of Insect Resistant Genetically Modified Crops within IPM Systems. Springer, Dordrecht, 441 pp.
  • Morsello, S. and G.G. Kennedy. 2009. Spring temperature and precipitation affect tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) population growth and Tomato spotted wilt virus within patches of the winter weed Stellaria media. Entomol. Expt. Appl. 130: 138-148.
  • Chappell, T.M., A.L.P. Beaudoin and G.G. Kennedy. 2013. Interacting virus abundance and transmission intensity underlie Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus incidence: an example weather-based model for cultivated tobacco. PLOS ONE 8 (8): Article number:  e73321 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073321
  • Jacobson, A.L. and G.G. Kennedy. 2013. Specific insect-virus interactions are responsible for variation in competency of different Thrips tabaci isolines to transmit different Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus isolates. PLOS ONE 8: Article number: e54567 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054484
  • Jacobson, A.L., W. Booth, E.L. Vargo and G.G. Kennedy. 2013. Thrips tabaci population genetic structure and polyploidy in relation to competency as a vector of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. PLOS ONE Article number: e54484 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054484
  • Jacobson, A.L., Nault, B.A., Vargo E.L. and Kennedy G.G. 2016. Restricted gene flow among lineages if Thrips tabaci supports genetic divergence among cryptic species groups. PLoS One 11: Article# 0163882.
  • Leckie, B.M., D’Ambrosio D.A., Chappell T.M., Halitschke, R., De Jong D.M. Kessler A., Kennedy G.G., and Mutschler M.A. 2016. Differential and synergistic functionality of acylsugars in suppressing oviposition by insect herbivores. PLoS One 11 (4) Article# e0153345 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153345
  • Huseth AS, Chappell TM, Chitturi A, Jacobson AL and Kennedy GG. 2018. Insecticide Resistance Signals Negative Consequences of Widespread Neonicotinoid Use on Multiple Field Crops in the U.S. Cotton Belt. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06015.
  • Chappell TM and Kennedy GG. 2018. Estimating the effectiveness of imidacloprid when used to suppress transmission of Tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus in commercial agriculture. J. Econ. Entomol. doi: 10.1093/jee/toy164
  • Ben-Mahmoud S, Smeda JR, Chappell TM, Stafford-Banks C, Kapinsky CH, Anderson T, Mutschler MA and Kennedy GG, Ullman DE. 2018. Acylsugar amount and fatty acid profile differentially suppress oviposition by western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, on tomato and interspecific hybrid flowers. PLoS ONE 13(7):e201583. http://doi.org101371/journal.pone.021583
  • Chappell TM, Huseth AS and Kennedy GG. 2019. Stability of neonicotinoid sensitivity in Frankliniella fusca populations found in agroecosystems in the southeastern USA. Pest Management Science DOI: 10.1002/ps.5319
  • Huseth AS, D’Ambrosio DA, Yorke BT, Head GP and Kennedy GG. 2019. Novel mechanism of thrips suppression by Cry51Aa2.834_16 Bt toxin expressed in cotton. Pest Management Science DOI: 10.1002/ps.5664 Internal Article ID: 16609867
  • Huseth AS, D’Ambrosio DA and Kennedy GG. 2020. Understanding the potential impact of continued seed treatment use for resistance management in Cry51Aa2.834_16 Bt cotton against Frankliniella fusca. PLOS ONE 15 (10): DOI:1371/journal.pone.0239910 /
  • Chappell TM, Ward RV, Debolt KT, Roberts PM, Greene JK and Kennedy GG. 2020. Cotton thrips infestation predictor: a practical tool for predicting tobacco thrips (Frankliniella fusca) infestation of cotton seedlings in the southeastern United States. Pest Management Science 76 (12) 4018-4028; DOI:1002/ps.5954
  • Linak JA, Jacobson AL, Sit T and Kennedy GG. 2020. Relationships of virus titers and transmission rates among sympatric and allopatric virus isolates ad thrips vectors support local adaptation. Scientific Reports 19 (1): DOI:1038/s41598-020-64507-1
  • SJ Dorman, KA Hopperstad, BJ Reich, G Kennedy, AS Huseth. 2022. Soybeans as a non-Bt refuge for Helicoverpa zea in maize-cotton agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 322, 107642
  • Arends B, Reisig D.D. Gundry S., Huseth A.S., Reay-Jones F.P.F., Greene J.K., Kennedy G.G. 2021. Effectiveness of natural resistance management refuge for Bt-cotton is dominated by local abundance of soybean and maize. Scientific Reports. 11:17601. org/10.1038/s41598-021-97123-8
  • GG Kennedy, AS Huseth. 2022. Pest species respond differently to farm field size. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 (39), e2214082119
  • McLaughlin AA, Hanley-Bowdoin L, Kennedy GG, Jacobson AL. 2022. Vector acquisition and co-inoculation of two plant viruses influences transmission, infection, and replication in new hosts. Sci. Rep. 12:20355
  • Mutschler MA, Kennedy GG, Ullman D. 2023. Acylsugar-mediated resistance as part of a multilayered defense against thrips, orthotospoviruses, and beyond. Curr. Opin. Inset Sci. 56:101021.
  • Dye AE, Muga B, Mwangi J, Hoyer JS, Ly V, Rosando Y, Sharpee W. Mware B, Labadie P, Deppong D, Jackai LE, Jacobson A, Kennedy G, Ateka EM, Duffy S, Hanley-Bowdoin L, Ascencio-Ibanez. 2023. Cassava begomovirus species diversity of cassava mosaic disease changes during plant vegetative cycles. Frontiers Microbiol. Doi 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1163566.
  • Kennedy GG, Sharpee W, Jacobson AL, Wambugu M, Mware B, Hanley-Bowdoin L. 2023. Genome Segment Ratios Change During Whitefly Transmission of Two Bipartite Cassava Mosaic Begomoviruses. Sci. Rept. Doi: 1038/s41598-023-37278-8


BS, Oregon State Univeristy (1970)
Ph.D, Cornell University (1974)