Torrence Gill


Visiting Assistant Professor

I am a research molecular entomologist with experience in the areas of plant-insect and plant-pathogen interactions.

  • B.S., animal science, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Ph.D., Molecular Entomology, University of Kentucky
  • Post Doctorate, Pennsylvania State University
  • Research Molecular Biologist, USDA-ARS, Purdue University
  • Post Doctorate, University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center


Course Sampling

  • Introductory Biology I
  • Introductory Biology II

Areas of Expertise

  • Insect Physiology
  • Insect Immunity
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Transformation


Torrence Gill has an enormous passion for insects. This started early in his life growing up and spending much of his time in the woods of North Carolina. As an undergraduate, he took internships at University of California-Davis and Michigan State which helped him rediscovered his passion for insects, with a new found love of molecular biology. During his doctoral research, his research focused on understanding how polydnaviruses (which exist in genomes of parasitoid wasps) are able to suppress the immune response of the host (caterpillars). He realized at this time that he wanted to conduct research that can become directly applied to help farmers minimize crop losses to insects. This experience with insect and plants, lead to a smooth transition to understanding how pathogens and plants interact and again applying the research to control pathogen spread and crop losses. At the end of the day, he would consider himself a crop protection specialist who tries to control the insect and pathogen damage on economically important crops.


  • Assess insecticidal activity of cys-motif genes associated with Campoletis sonorensis Ichnovirus (CsIV)
  • Determine the role of each cys-motif protein during parasitism of Fall armyworm by Campoletis sonorensis
  • Test efficacy of Thymol derived nanoemulsion particles on disease transmission in many economically important crops


  • Gill TA, Coy M, Gibbard H, Stelinski L, and Pelz-Stelinski S. The role of temperature and cuticular melanization of Diaphorina citri nymphs and their ability to acquire Candidatis Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) (in prep)
  • Chen, XD, Gill TA, Nguyen CD, Pelz-Stelinski KS, and Stelinski LL. Characterization of detoxification enzyme level and cuticular melanization and basal immunity of the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) color morphs in field populations (accepted to Insect Science on Feb 26, 2018)
  • Chen, XD, Gill TA, Ashfaq, M, Pelz-Stelinski KS, and Stelinski LL. Neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid and thiamethoxam resistance and stability of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citris Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) and relative to gene expression in Florida (accepted to Applied Entomology on August 13th, 2018 )
  • Chen XD, Gill TA, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Stelinski LL. Risk assessment of various insecticides used for management of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri in Florida citrus, against honey bee, Apis mellifera.
    Ecotoxicology. 2017 Jan 23. doi: 10.1007/s10646-017-1768-5
  • Gill TA, Chu C, Pelz-Stelinski KS. Comparative proteomic analysis of hemolymph from uninfected and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus-infected Diaphorina citri.
    Amino Acids. 2017 Feb;49(2):389-406. doi: 10.1007/s00726-016-2373-2. Epub 2016 Dec 19.
  • Gill TA, Li J, Saenger M, Scofield SR. Thymol-based submicron emulsions exhibit antifungal activity against Fusarium graminearum and inhibit Fusarium head blight in wheat.
    Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2016 Oct;121(4):1103-16. doi: 10.1111/jam.13195. Epub 2016 Aug 9.
  • Chu CC, Gill TA, Hoffmann M, Pelz-Stelinski KS. Inter-Population Variability of Endosymbiont Densities in the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). Microbial Ecology. 2016 May;71(4):999-1007. doi: 10.1007/s00248-016-0733-9. Epub 2016 Feb 4.
  • Gill TA, Webb BA. Analysis of gene transcription and relative abundance of the cys-motif gene family from Campoletis sonorensis ichnovirus (CsIV) and further characterization of the most abundant cys-motif protein, WHv1.6. Insect Molecular Biology. 2013 Aug;22(4):341-53. doi: 10.1111/imb.12022. Epub 2013 Apr 25.
  • Fescemyer HW, Sandoya GV, Gill TA, Ozkan S, Marden JH, Luthe DS. Maize toxin degrades peritrophic matrix proteins and stimulates compensatory transcriptome responses in fall armyworm midgut.
    Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2013 Mar;43(3):280-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2012.12.008. Epub 2013 Jan 7.
  • Luthe, DS, Gill TA, Zhu L, Lopez L, Pechanova O, Shivaji R, Ankala A, and Williams WP (2011). Aboveground to belowground herbivore defense signaling in maize: A two-way street? Plant signaling & behavior 6(1):126-9 · January 2011.
  • Gill TA, Sandoya G, Williams P, Luthe DS. Belowground resistance to western corn rootworm in lepidopteran-resistant maize genotypes. Journal of Economic Entomology. 2011 Feb;104(1):299-307.
  • Fath-Goodin A, Gill TA, Martin SB, and Webb BA (2006). Effect of Campoletis sonorensis ichnovirus cys-motif proteins on Heliothis virescens larval development. Journal of Insect Physiology. 2006 Jun; 52(6):576-85.
  • Gill TA, Fath-Goodin A, Maiti I, and Webb BA (2006). Potential uses of Cys-motif and other polydnavirus genes in biotechnology. Advances in Virus Research. 2006; 68:393-426. Review