Rivera-Vega L, Stanley BA, Stanley A, Felton GW. 2018. Proteomic analysis of labial saliva of the generalist cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) and its role in interactions with host plants. Journal of Insect Physiology. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2018.03.001
Rivera-Vega L, Galbraith DA, Grozinger DM, Felton GW. 2017. Host plant-driven transcriptome plasticity in the salivary glands of the cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni). PlosOne. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182636
Rivera-Vega L, Acevedo FE, Felton GW. 2017. Genomics of Lepidoptera Saliva Reveal Function in Herbivory. Current Opinion in Insect Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2017.01.002
Ray S, Basu S, Rivera-Vega L, Acevedo FE, Louis J, Felton GW, Luthe DS. 2016. Lessons from the far end: Caterpillar frass-induced defenses in maize, rice, cabbage, and tomato. J Chemical Ecology. doi:10.1007/s10886-016-0776-x
Rivera-Vega L, Krosse S, de Graaf RM, Garvi J, Garvi R, Van Dam NM. 2015. Allelopathic effects of glucosinolate breakdown products in Hanza (Boscia senegalensis (pers.) Lam) processing waste water. Frontiers in Plant Science. 6. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00532
Acevedo FE, Rivera-Vega L, Chung SH, Ray S, Felton GW. 2015. Cues from Chewing Insects- the Intersection of DAMPs, HAMPs, MAMPs and Effectors. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 26:80-86.
Mamidala P, Wijeratne AJ, Wijeratne S, Kornacker K, Sudhamalla B, Rivera-Vega L, Hoelmer A, Meulia T, Jones SC, Mittapalli O. 2012. RNA-Seq and molecular docking reveal multi-level pesticide resistance in the bed bug. BMC Genomics. 13:6
Rivera-Vega L, Mamidala P, Koch JL, Mason ME, Mittapalli O. 2012. Evaluation of reference genes for gene expression studies in ash (Fraxinus spp.). Plant Molecular Biology Reporter. 30:242-245.
Bai X*, Rivera-Vega L*, Mamidala P, Bonello P, Herms DA, Mittapalli O. 2011. Transcriptomic signatures of ash (Fraxinus spp) phloem. PLoS ONE. 6(1):e16368.
Mittapalli O, Rivera-Vega L, Bhandary B, Bautista M, Mamidala P, Michel A, Shukle R, Mian R. 2011. Cloning and characterization of mariner-like elements in the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 101(6): 697-704.
Rivera-Vega L and Mittapalli O. 2010. Molecular characterization of mariner–like elements in emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera, Polyphaga). Archives of Insect Biochemistry & Physiology. 74(4): 205-216.
Bhandary B, Rajarapu SP, Rivera-Vega L, Mittapalli O. 2010. Analysis of gene expression in emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) using quantitative real time-PCR. Journal of Visualized Experiments (39).
Saballos A, Vermerris W, Rivera L and Ejeta G. 2008. Allelic association, chemical characterization, and saccharification properties of brown midrib mutants of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). Bioenergy Research. 1: 193-204
I enjoy studying plant-insect interactions. My PhD research was on herbivory recognition – how do plants recognize insects and how do insects avoid being recognized. For this, I use molecular and biochemical tools. I used the generalist cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni) to study these interactions.
What I like to study
In 2014, I had the privilege of visiting Dr. Nicole van Dam's laboratory in Leipzig, Germany for six months. Here I studied the allelopathic effects of hanza - a famine crop in parts of Africa. I also looked at herbivory recognition but focusing on root herbivores using the Brassica nigra-cabbage rootfly (Delia radicum) system.
I am currently a postdoc at Texas A&M. I am doing some work on the cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), which is eradicated in most of the United States but continues to be a problem in South Texas and the rest of America. During my "free time" I've also been working on understanding the role of endophytes (symbiotic fungi) in plants and how they can help plants respond to nematodes and drought. Finally, lately I have been establishing a pepper weevil colony and looking forward to establishing many exciting new projects with them. I am happy to be learning several new techniques such as RNAi, nematode work, HPLC analysis, among many others.