College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Brian Federici

Brian A. Federici

Distinguished Professor in the Graduate Division

BS Animal Science 1966

Rutgers University

MS Medical Entomology 1967

University of Florida

PhD Medical Entomology/Insect Pathology 1970

University of Florida

Research Areas

Insect pathology and microbial control with emphasis on viral and bacterial pathogens of medically or agriculturally important insects. Not taking students at this time.

Contact Information
Entomology 247; Chapman Hall 6
(951) 827-5006

Research Specialization - As an insect pathologist, the research in my laboratory focuses on (1) understanding the basic microbiology of pathogens that attack insects, and (2) the use of this knowledge to develop pathogens or their products to control insect pests. Currently, our major emphasis is on the bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis. We are studying the molecular biology of insecticidal protein synthesis in this bacterium, and developing a variety of protein combinations for insect control to be used as bacterial insecticides or to construct insecticidal transgenic plants. These new types of control agents are more environmentally friendly than synthetic chemical insecticides. In addition to our studies on B. thuringiensis, we also have studies underway on insect baculoviruses and ascoviruses. The baculovirus studies are directed toward understanding baculovirus pathology, and then using this knowledge to make better recombinant baculovirus insecticides. Ascoviruses compose a newly discovered family of large double-stranded DNA viruses that attack lepidopteran insects. Our studies of this group are aimed at understanding their phylogenetic origin, pathogenesis, and molecular biology.

Awards Received

2010 Fellow, Entomological Society of America<b/r> 
2008 Entomological Society of America, C.W. Woodworth Award 
2005 Faculty Research Lecturer Award, UCR Academic Senate 
2004 Founder's Lecturer Research Award, Society for Invertebrate Pathology 
2003 USDA Secretary's Individual Honor Award for Superior Service 
1997 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science 
1991 Entomological Society of America, National Distinguished Teaching Award 
1989 Distinguished Teaching Award, UCR Academic Senate


Recent Peer Reviewed Publications (2013 - 2017) 

Zaghloul, H. A. H., R. Hice, P. Arensburger, and B. A. Federici. 2017. Transcriptome analysis of the Spodoptera frugiperda ascovirus in vivo provides insights into how its apoptosis inhibitors and caspase promote increased synthesis of viral vesicles and virion progeny.  Journal of Virology 91:e00874-17

Bideshi, D. K., H.-W. Park, R. H. Hice, M. C. Wirth, B. A. Federici. 2017. Cyt1A-BinA chimera: A highly effective mosquito larvicide using a Cyt protein as a broad spectrum targeting domain. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 11282 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-11717-9.

Sakano, Y. H.-W. Park, D. K. Bideshi, B. Ge., and B. A. Federici. 2017. Contributions of 5’-UTR and 3’UTR cis elements to Cyt1Aa synthesis in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensisJournal of Invertebrate Pathology 149, 66-75.

Raymond, B. and B. A. Federici. 2017. In defense of Bacillus thuringiensis, the safest and most successful microbial insecticide to humanity – a response to EFSA. FEMS Microbial Ecology

Park, H.-W., R. H. Hice, and B. A. Federici. 2016. Effect of single versus multiple promoters and high plasmid copy number on the synthesis and assembly of Cyt1Aa crystals in Bacillus thuringiensisCurrent Microbiology 72, 33-40.

Colletier,J.-P., M. R. Sawaya, M. Gingery, J. A. Rodriguez, D. Cascio,A. Brewater, T. Michels-Clark, R. H. Hice, N. Coquelle, S. Boutet, G. J. Williams, M. Messerschmidt, D. P. DePonte, R. G. Sierra, H. Laksmomo, J. E. Koglin, M. S. Hunter, H.-W. Park, M. Uervirojnangkoorn, D. K. Bideshi, A. T. Brunger, B. A. Federici, N. K. Sauter, and D. S. Eisenberg. 2016. De novo phasing with X-ray laser reveals mosquito larvicide BinAB structure. Nature doi:10.1038/nature19825.

Varva, J., T. Bily, J. Nebesarova, and B. A. Federici. 2016. Occurrence, pathology, and ultrastructure of iridovirus and cytoplasmic polyhedrosis viruses in daphnids from the Czech Republic. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 140, 35-38.

Piégu, B., S. Asgari, D. Bideshi, B. A. Federici, and Y. Bigot. 2015. Evolutionary relationships of iridioviruses and divergence of ascoviruses from invertebrate iridoviruses in the superfamily Megavirales. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84, 44–52.

Wirth, M. C., W. E. Walton, and B. A. Federici. 2015. Evolution of Resistance in Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) Selected With a Recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis Strain-Producing Cyt1Aa and Cry11Ba, and the Binary Toxin, Bin, from Lysinibacillus sphaericusJournal of Medical Entomology 52, 1028 – 1035.

Piégu B, S. Guizard, T. Spears , C. Cruaud, A. Couloux, D. K. Bideshi, B.A. Federici, and Y Bigot. 2014. Complete genome sequence of invertebrate iridovirus IIV30 isolated from the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 116, 43-47.

Sawaya, M. R., D. Cascio, M. Gingery, J. Rodriguez, L. Goldschmidt, J.-P. Colletier, M. Messerschmidt, S. Boutet, J. E. Koglin, G. J. Williams, A. S. Brewster, K. Nass, J. Hattne, S. Botha, R. B. Doak, R. L. Shoeman, D. P. DePonte, H.-W. Park, B. A. Federici, N. K. Sauter, I. Schlichting, and D. Eisenberg. 2014. 2.9 A-Resolution Protein Crystal Structure Obtained from Injecting Bacterial Cells into an X-ray Free-Electron Laser Beam. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A 35, 12769–12774.

Piégu, B., S. Guizard, T. Yeping, C. Cruaud, S. Asgari, D. K Bideshi, B. A. Federici, and Y. Bigot. 2014. Genome sequence of a crustacean iridovirus, IIV31, isolated from the pill bug, Armadillidium vulgareJournal of General Virology 95, 1585-1590. [PMID: 24232916].

Kleespies, R. G., Federici, B. A., and A. Leclerque. 2014. Ultrastructural characterization and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) of Rickettsiella isopodi, sp. nov., an intracellular bacterial pathogen infecting woodlice. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 37, 351-359.

Park, H.-W., B. S. Pino, S. Kozervanich-Chong, E. A. Hafkenscheid, R. M. Oliverio, B. A. Federici, and D. K. Bideshi. 2013. Cyt1A from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensisenhances mosquitocidal activity of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD-1 against larvae of Aedes aegypti but not Culex quinquefasciatusJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology23, 88-91.

Sun, Y., Q. Zhao, L. Xia, X. Ding, H.-W. Park, and B. A. Federici. 2013. Identification and characterization of three novel crystal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. jegathesan through mass spectroscopy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79, 3364 - 3370.

Bigot, Y., B. Piegu, S. Casteret, F. Gavory, D. K. Bideshi, and B. A. Federici. 2013. Characteristics of inteins in invertebrate iridoviruses and factors controlling insertion in their viral hosts. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 67, 246 – 254. 

Bideshi, D. K., Waldrop, G., Fernandez-Luna, M. T., Diaz-Mendoza, M., Wirth, M. C., Johnson, J. J., Park, H.-W., and B. A. Federici. 2013. Intermolecular interaction between Cry2Aa and Cyt1Aa and its effect on larvicidal activity of Culex quinquefasciatus. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 23, 1107–1115.

Benoît Piégu, B., S. Guizard, T. Spears, C. Cruaud, A. Couloux, D. K. Bideshi, B. A. Federici and Y. Bigot. 2013. Complete genome sequence of invertebrate iridovirus IIV22 isolated from a blackfly larva. Journal of General Virology 94, 2112-2116.

Colson, P., X. De Lamballerie, N. Yutin, S. Asgari, Y. Bigot, X.-W. Cheng, B. A. Federici, J. L. Van Etten, E. V. Koonin, B. La Scola, and D. Raoult. 2013. “Megavirales”, A proposed new order for eukaryotic nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses. Archives of Virology. DOI 10.1007/s00705-013-1768-6.

Piégu, B., S. Guizard, T. Spears, C. Cruaud, A. Couloux, D. K Bideshi, B. A. Federici, and Y. Bigot. 2013. Complete genome sequence of invertebrate iridovirus IIV25 isolated from a blackfly larva. Archives of Virology. DOI 10.1007/s00705-013-1918-x

WirthM. C., C. Berry, W. E. Walton and B. A. Federici. 2013. Mtx toxins from Lysinibacillus sphaericus enhance mosquitocidal Cry toxin activity and suppress Cry resistance in Culex quinquefasciatusJournal of Invertebrate Pathology 115, 62-67.

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