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January 14, 2009

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

HOMETOWN RELEASE: Jacksonville Resident Receives Recognition for UT Tyler Research


Patrick Marshall of Jacksonville, a junior at The University of Texas at Tyler, won first runner-up in a research competition at the 2008 National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Dr. Blake Bextine, assistant professor of biology, announced.  

Marshall’s presentation titled “Identification of HoCV-1 virus in Texas Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Populations” examined viral pathogens that impact the glassy-winged sharpshooter insect. He and other student-researchers in Bextine’s lab have examined various components for Pierce’s disease, which is caused by a bacterium that restricts the movement of nutrients through a plant’s vascular tissues. This bacterial pathogen is transmitted from plant to plant by the insect.

More than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate students from around the country participated in the competition.

“Receiving an award that commends the work that Patrick has done in comparison to students who are further along in their academic careers is a real testament to the work being performed in the lab,” Bextine said.

The research is funded through a federal U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to investigate potential management strategies for reducing the impact of Pierce’s disease on the Texas and U.S. wine grape industry.

Marshall, a music performance major and biology minor, began working as a student researcher for Bextine in 2007. According to Bextine, general interests in biology led Marshall to become an undergraduate researcher, but successes in the laboratory “have gotten him hooked on scientific research.”

He will graduate in May 2010.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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