Jorge ReyesJorge Alberto Reyes

Graduate Student
E-mail: jreyespineda@agcenter.lsu.edu
Major Professor: Dr. Kenneth Damann

 

 

 

 

 

Education and Professional Experience

  • 2015- Present:  Master of Science Student, Louisiana State University, Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology. Advisor: Dr. K. Damann
  • Summer-Fall 2014: Internship at the Mycotoxicology Lab, Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology. LSU. Advisor: Dr. K. Damann.
  • 2013- May-2014: Extension and field agent for Productive Development. Jicatuyo Foundation (FJ), agency: Lepaera Lempira. FJ is a civil, private, non-political, and non -profit organization that promotes socio-economic development for small and medium scale farmers and their families in the western Honduras.
  • 2012: Teaching Assistant of the Plant Pathology Course. Plant Production Academic Department- National Agricultural University. Catacamas, Honduras.
  • Summer 2011: Research Project for Bachelor Degree Accomplishment: "Determination of the Critical Period for Weed Competition in Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), variety Festina". Studied with Dr. Steve Weller in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Department. Purdue University, Indiana, USA.
  • 2008-2011: Bachelor Degree of Science in Agronomy. National Agricultural University. Catacamas-Olancho, Honduras.
  • 2005-2007: High School Degree with emphasis in Agricultural Sciences. Technical and Community Institute "David Hercules Navarro”. Guarita-Lempira, Honduras.

 

Research Focus

Mycotoxin contamination of grain, especially corn, wheat and peanuts in the United States has been estimated to account for a loss of nearly $932 million annually, to which another $466 million is added for regulatory enforcement, testing, and other quality control measures. The persistent appearance of toxin-producing fungi in agricultural commodities poses an ongoing struggle.

Specifically speaking for the corn production scenario, growers are currently facing the problem with aflatoxin contamination of corn by the ascomycete fungus Aspergillus flavus, which is the producer of the carcinogenic aflatoxins. Efforts to counteract this situation currently include creating aflatoxin resistant hybrids. Although this would the best approach, unfortunately it has not been successfully accomplished yet. The use of atoxigenic strains for intraspecific competition or aflatoxin inhibition is thus far, the best tool for aflatoxin contamination control.

For implementation of a good biocontrol strategy by intraspecific competition, the biology and structure of A. flavus populations needs to be understood. To select effective atoxigenic strains, we need to know and determine the fungal strains that occupy the soil niche and those that have the ability to occupy the corn niche as well.

Mains objectives of my research work is focused in the characterization of the A. flavus populations in a transect of the Mississippi River States with the intention of determining population diversities and identifying the more problematic toxigenic strains affecting corn as well as identifying the atoxigenic strains that might be potentially useful in biocontrol in such every location.

Activities

Fall 2015- Present: Member of the Social Activities Committee and the Journal Club and Training Committee of the Graduate Student Association. Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology. Louisiana State University.

Awards and Honors

  • 2014: LSU-AgCenter Visiting Scholar Program Award for Internship at the Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department.
  • 2011: Second Place in Academic Performance during my Senior Year in the Agronomic Engineering Class. National Agricultural University.
  • 2011: Integrated Pest Management Program Award for Internship at Purdue University. United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • 2010: Second Place in Academic Performance during my Junior Year in the Agronomic Engineering Class. National Agricultural University.
  • 2009: First Place in Academic Performance during my Sophomore Year in the Agronomic Engineering Class. National Agricultural University.
  • 2008: Third Place in Academic Performance during my Freshman Year in the Agronomic Engineering Class. National Agricultural University.