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Fernando E. Vega

Fernando E. Vega

PhD

About

258
Publications
134,710
Reads
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8,265
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1992 - January 2022
United States Department of Agriculture
Position
  • Retired
Education
August 1986 - May 1992
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Entomology
August 1983 - May 1986
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Horticulture
August 1979 - May 1983
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Field of study
  • General Agriculture

Publications

Publications (258)
Article
Full-text available
Fungi that occur inside asymptomatic plant tissues are known as fungal endophytes. Different genera of fungal entomopathogens have been reported as naturally occurring fungal endophytes, and it has been shown that it is possible to inoculate plants with fungal entomopathogens, making them endophytic. Their mode of action against insects appears to...
Article
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Fungal endophytes are quite common in nature and some of them have been shown to have adverse effects against insects, nematodes, and plant pathogens.Our research program is aimed at using fungal endophytes-mediated plant defense as a novel biological control mechanism against the coffee berry borer, the most devastating pest of coffee throughout t...
Article
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Coffee (Coffea arabica) plant tissues were surface-sterilized and fungal endophytes isolated using standard techniques, followed by DNA extraction and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS). A total of 843 fungal isolates were recovered and sequenced (Colombia, 267; Hawai'i, 393; Mexico, 109; Puerto Rico, 74) yielding 257 unique...
Article
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The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is the most economically important insect pest of coffee worldwide. We present an analysis of the draft genome of the coffee berry borer, the third genome for a Coleopteran species. The genome size is ca. 163 Mb with 19,222 predicted protein coding genes. Analysis was focused on genes involved in primary...
Article
Full-text available
The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is the most devastating insect pest of coffee worldwide with its infestations decreasing crop yield by up to 80%. Caffeine is an alkaloid that can be toxic to insects and is hypothesized to act as a defence mechanism to inhibit herbivory. Here we show that caffeine is degraded in the gut of H. hampei, an...
Article
This article describes and illustrates a new species of the genus Amberophytum Yu, Slipinski et Pang, 2019 of the family Cerophytidae from mid- Cretaceous Burmese Amber. The new species, A. maculatum s.n. differs from A. birmanicum Yu, Slipinski et Pang, 2019 in the smaller body size, shorter metatarsomere 1, and more convex body. A key to the spec...
Article
Full-text available
Coffee is one of the most important agricultural commodities worldwide, significantly contributing to the economies of many coffee-producing countries. Globally over 2.2 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily with over 400 million of those consumed in the United States alone. The two main cultivated species of coffee are Coffea arabica L. (Arabi...
Article
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The correct article title is provided here, Vulnerability of coffee (Coffea spp.) genetic resources in the United States.
Article
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A new genus and species of Empididae (Diptera) in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described as Neoalavesia hadroceria gen. et sp. nov. in the family Atelestidae. The male is characterised by its small size, unique wing venation with reduced cell dm and the greatly expanded postpedicels that may have been used as sexual attractants. A novel feature...
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Richard Bradley published A Short Historical Account of Coffee in 1715, an extremely rare book of which only three copies are known. A revised version of the book, entitled The Virtue and Use of Coffee, was published in 1721. Bradley's 1714 trip to the Physic Garden in Amsterdam, where he examined two coffee trees, led to his two coffee books, whos...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of the genus Amberophytum Yu, Slipinski et Pang, 2019 of the family Cerophytidae from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described and illustrated. The new species, A. maculatum n. sp., differs from A. birmanicum Yu, Slipinski et Pang, 2019 in the smaller body size, shorter metatarsomere 1, and more convex body. A key to the species of t...
Article
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Tropidogyne euthystyla, described here, is the fourth species of this fossil genus to have been reported from amber deposits in northern Myanmar. The species are alike in features of the calyx, the shape and venation of the inferior ovary, and the absence of petals. They differ in the number and form of the styles, the lobing of the epigynous disc,...
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Elizabeth Pym wrote a letter in 1742 from the island of Nevis, in the Caribbean Sea, to Peter Collinson in London, describing various botanical samples she was sending him, including two coffee plants. The letter was found inside Volume II of Sir Hans Sloane’s “A Voyage to the Islands Madera …” housed at Oak Spring Garden Library in Virginia. Colli...
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A cellular slime mould (Eukarya: Dictyostelia?) in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described as Paleoplastes burmanica gen. et sp. nov. The specimen consists of a clear, acellular plasmodium containing a central reddish pseudoplasmodium with an aggregation of myxamoebae, from which sorocarps have emerged. The sorocarps produced short chains of smal...
Article
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The coffee berry borer, the most economically important insect pest of coffee worldwide, is the only insect capable of feeding and reproducing solely on the coffee seed, a food source containing the purine alkaloid caffeine. Twenty-one bacterial species associated with coffee berry borers from Hawai’i, Mexico, or a laboratory colony in Maryland (Ac...
Article
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A new genus and species of apsilocephalid flies, Cascomixticus tubuliferous gen. et sp. nov. (Diptera: Asiloidea: Apsilocephalidae) is described from Burmese amber. Assignment to the Apsilocephalidae is based on the wing venation that is very similar to extant members of the family. The present fossil differs from known genera of this family by a l...
Article
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Coffee is one of the most economically important agricultural commodities in the world. Labeling accuracy and conservation efficiency are essential for coffee germplasm management and for the exchange and utilization in breeding new varieties. However, due to its homogenous genetic background, accurate identification of Coffea arabica germplasm has...
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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A new monotypic genus of nogodinid planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Nogodinidae) is described from Dominican amber. The adult female of Jatoba losbrachi gen. et sp. nov. can be distinguished from other genera of extant and extinct planthoppers by a combination of the following features: the absence of a medial carina on the mesonotum, the pr...
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The flower described here as Valviloculus pleristaminis, a new genus and species of fossil angiosperms, was obtained from Myanmar amber deposits dating to the mid-Cretaceous period. The flower is staminate, with an ovoid, hollow floral cup. The perianth consists of 6 tepals, one of which was lost prior to preservation. Numerous helically arranged s...
Article
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A bizarre cylindrical bark beetle from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described as Stegastochlidus saraemcheana, a new genus and species in the subfamily Colydiinae of the family Zopheridae. The male beetle is characterized by elongate protuberances covering its entire dorsal surface, a tarsal formula of 4-4-4 and ten-segmented antennae with the t...
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A new genus and species of scale insect (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha) is described from a female specimen in mid-Cretaceous Burmese (Myanmar) amber. Fossil female scales are rare and the present species, described as Paleolepidotus macrocolus gen. et sp. n., has such an unusual assortment of morphological features that it could not be assigned to any pa...
Article
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Pseudomonas strain CES was isolated from caffeine- enriched soil and found to possess the N-demethylation pathway for caffeine breakdown. We report the nucleotide sequence of the draft genome with 5,827,822 bp, 62.6% G+C content, and 5,427 protein-coding regions.
Article
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A female lacewing bug in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber is described as Paleoanomala aptenus gen. et sp. nov. (Tingidae: Hemiptera). This specimen is small and flightless and has partially fused hemelytra. The dorsum is covered with areoles formed by large dark punctures. The vestigial eyes, lack of ocelli, and a flattened body suggest that this spec...
Article
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Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. The Arabica (Coffea arabica L.) and Robusta (Coffea canephora Pierre ex A. Froehner) species are the two main types of coffees for commercial production. In general, Arabica coffee is known to have better quality in terms of sensory characteristics; thus, it h...
Article
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While [CO2] effects on growth and secondary chemistry are well characterized for annual plant species, little is known about perennials. Among perennials, production of Coffea arabica and C. canephora (robusta) have enormous economic importance worldwide. Three Arabica cultivars (Bourbon, Catimor, Typica) and robusta coffee were grown from germinat...
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There is some confusion in the scientific literature concerning terms involving insect-fungus symbioses, including associations vs. interactions, mycetangia vs. mycangia, symbiote vs. symbiont, and symbiosis vs. mutualism. We present a rationale that demonstrates the difference between an association and an interaction, and why the correct term for...
Article
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The world’s coffee supply is threatened by the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, the most destructive pest affecting coffee production and quality. This study hypothesized that coffee berry borer infestation induces distinct metabolic responses in the green coffee seeds of Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora (robusta). A targeted metabolomic...
Article
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An ambrosia beetle described as Palaeotylus femoralis n. gen et sp. belonging to a new subfamily (Palaeotylinae n. subfam.: Coleoptera: Platypodidae) is described from Cretaceous Burmese amber. It differs from other subfamilies by the loose antennal club, 6-articled funicle, coarsely faceted eyes, tibiae with teeth at apex, bilobed meso- and meta-ta...
Article
Full-text available
An ambrosia beetle described as Palaeotylus femoralis n. gen et sp. belonging to a new subfamily (Palaeotylinae n. subfam.: Coleoptera: Platypodidae) is described from Cretaceous Burmese amber. It differs from other subfamilies by the loose antennal club, 6-articled funicle, coarsely faceted eyes, tibiae with teeth at apex, bilobed meso- and meta-ta...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of a mutualism requires reciprocal interactions whereby one species provides a service that the other species cannot perform or performs less efficiently. Services exchanged in insect–fungus mutualisms include nutrition, protection, and dispersal. In ectosymbioses, which are the focus of this review, fungi can be consumed by insects o...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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Ophiocordyceps dominicanus Poinar & Vega sp. nov. in Dominican amber and Polycephalomyces baltica Poinar & Vega sp. nov. (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae) in Baltic amber, are described as entomopathogenic fungi of bark lice (Psocoptera). The specimens possess several features unknown in extant synnematous entomopathogenic fungi such as a tubular...
Article
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The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is the most damaging insect pest of global coffee production. Despite its importance, our knowledge on the insect’s natural habitat, range, and wild host species remains poorly known. Using archival sources (mainly herbaria but also other museum collections), we surveyed 18,667 predominantly wild-collect...
Article
Full-text available
The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is the most economically important insect pest of coffee globally. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) was used to reconstruct the respiratory system of this species for the first time; this is the smallest insect (ca. 2 mm long) for which this has been done to date. Anatomical details of the spiracles...
Article
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Traditionally, the study of anatomy in insects has been based on dissection techniques. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) is an X-ray based technique that allows visualization of the internal anatomy of insects in situ and does not require dissections. We report on the use of micro-CT scans to study, in detail, the internal structures and organs...
Article
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is an important crop in the USA, which produces approximately 55% of the world’s pecans. Several insect pests and various plant diseases reduce crop yield directly destroying nutmeats, or indirectly through effects on foliage and shucks, reducing photosynthesis. Beauveria bassiana is a well-studied, commercialized fungal...
Article
The knobbed setae on a small caterpillar in 45-55 million years old [Eocene] Baltic amber were studied and characterized as urticating, with evidence of liquid release implying the production of poisons. It is presumed that the caterpillar had been disturbed just prior to falling into the resin, as some of its setae showed defensive responses. The...
Article
Metaparasitylenchus hypothenemi is an endoparasitic nematode that causes partial or total sterility of coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) females, although the causes are unknown. Fecundity and the average size of the common and lateral oviduct, vitellarium, and germarium in the four ovarioles (I, II, III and IV) were compared between parasit...
Article
Priscadvena corymbosa gen. et sp. nov., is described from thalli and sporangia emerging from the oral cavity of a click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The fossil contains several features unknown in extant Trichomycetes including a click beetle (Coleoptera: Elateridae) host, spiny, aerial thalli with the entire tha...
Article
Full-text available
The coffee berry borer is the most devastating insect pest of coffee throughout the world. The insect spends most of its life cycle inside the coffee berry, which makes it quite difficult to observe its behaviour. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) was used to observe all developmental stages of the coffee berry borer inside coffee berries (Coffe...
Article
Nothing is sterile. Insects, plants, and fungi, highly speciose groups of organisms, conceal a vast fungal biodiversity. An approximation of the total number of fungal species on Earth remains an elusive goal, but estimates should include fungal species hidden in associations with other organisms. Some specific roles have been discovered for the fu...
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We investigated the ability of the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana strain GHA to endophytically colonize sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and its impact on plant growth. We used foliar spray, stem injection, and soil drench inoculation methods. All the three inoculation methods resulted in B. bassiana colonizing sugarcane tissues. Fungal...
Article
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An ambrosia fungus is described from filamentous sporodochia adjacent to a wood-boring ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. Yeast-like propagules and hyphal fragments of Paleoambrosia entomophila gen. nov. et sp. nov. occur in glandular sac mycangia located inside the femur of the beetle. This i...
Article
The challenge of maintaining sufficient food, feed, fiber and forests for a projected end of century population of between 9-10 billion in the context of a climate averaging 2-4oC warmer is a global imperative. However, climate change is likely to alter the geographic ranges and impacts for a variety of insect pests, plant pathogens, and weeds, and...
Article
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The coffee bean weevil, Araecerus fasciculatus (De Geer) (Coleoptera: Anthribidae), is a cosmopolitan insect with >100 hosts, and has been reported as a pest of stored coffee. During a study involving the coffee berry borer, we observed coffee bean weevils emerging from field-collected coffee berries and used micro-computerized tomography (micro-CT...
Article
Full-text available
Fungal entomopathogens have been proposed as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical control. Unfortunately, their effectiveness continues to be limited by their susceptibility to ultraviolet (UV) light and low moisture. A relatively recent development, the use of fungal entomopathogens as endophytes, might overcome the traditional obstac...
Article
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Review of Angela Douglas's new book: Fundamentals of Microbiome Science. How Microbes Shape Animal Biology, Princeton University Press.
Conference Paper
The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari); Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is the most important insect pest of coffee worldwide, and due to the cryptic life habit of the insect inside coffee berries, effective pest management strategies have been difficult to develop. In this paper we report on the use of an x-ray imaging techni...
Article
Full-text available
The common bean is the most important food legume in the world. We examined the potential of the fungal entomopathogens Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae applied as seed treatments for their endophytic establishment in the common bean. Endophytic colonization in sterile sand:peat averaged ca. 40% higher for fungus treatments and ca. six...
Article
Full-text available
The coffee berry borer continues to pose a formidable challenge to coffee growers worldwide. Because of the cryptic life habit of the insect inside coffee berries, effective pest management strategies have been difficult to develop. A sesquiterpene, (E,E)-α-farnesene, produced by infested coffee berries has been identified as a potential repellent...
Article
The various parts of the mouth in the coffee berry, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari), have been visualized and identified using scanning electron microscopy. The labial and maxillary palpi are three jointed and connected by a membrane that allows for telescoping. The maxillary palpi contain two types of sensilla (basiconic and campaniform) within an a...
Article
Thrips (Thysanoptera) are opportunistic insects that exhibit a wide range of life histories. Most species are either fungivorous or phytophagous, while a few are predators. In coffee agroecosystems, the presence of these insects is noticeable, especially when coffee is flowering. The identity of thrips and the role they might be playing on coffee f...