Cipollini Lab

the website of the Cipollini Lab at Wright State University

About the lab

Work in the Cipollini laboratory generally focuses on the chemical ecology of plant responses to the environment, with a focus on induced plant responses to herbivores and pathogens and the chemical ecology of invasive plants, insects, and microbes. One important theme is the influence of environmental and genetic factors on the expression, costs, and benefits of plant resistance traits, and on subsequent outcomes of the interaction of plants with their biotic and abiotic environment. Within this context, our interests range from highly mechanistic descriptions of constitutive and inducible plant defenses and their impacts on other species and plant fitness, to evolution of plant defenses and community level impacts.  We have spent nearly 17 years working to understand invasiveness and impacts of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an important invasive mustard that has allelopathic effects on other plants, insects, and soil microbes, like mycorrhizae. Our interests have extended to the expression and role of plant defenses in woody plant ecology, including that of the invasive shrubs, Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) and burning bush (Euonymus alata) interactions between the invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), and its susceptible and resistant ash (Fraxinus) tree hosts. Work on the emerald ash borer system has morphed into understanding the causes and consequences of host range expansion of this beetle, after our discovery that it would use white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) as a host in the field and and now olive (Olea europaea), at least in laboratory situations.  The demographics and vulnerability of disjunct hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) populations to hemlock woolly adelgid and other stressors are subjects of current study. We have worked experimentally with bacteria, fungi, insects, and plants, and use a variety of techniques including basic experimental greenhouse and field ecology techniques, microscopy, molecular analyses, and analytical chemistry techniques such as HPLC. Interested students can choose to focus on any of these sorts of areas, but are encouraged to integrate their studies across multiple levels of organization.


One thought on “About the lab

  1. Hey Don,
    Can you send me your EAB pubs?
    I would love “Progress and gaps in understanding mechanisms of ash tree resistance to emerald ash borer, a model for wood‐boring insects that kill angiosperms”, especially. I tried getting it from Research Gate, but it kept crashing my software :(.
    Thanks. Cris

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