Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Plant Science (Agriculture)


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Maciej Pszczolkowski


In modern agriculture, the use of pesticides is unavoidable. However, improper use has resulted in pest resistance and negative impacts on the environment and human health. Changes are needed in the agricultural industry to account for the damage already caused. Researchers have turned to essential oils as key ingredients for potential biopesticides, with some mixtures already on the market. Most studies involving essential oils and a pest’s response concentrate on mortality or interruptions in development during and between life stages. My study, however, focused on immune responses; specifically, lemongrass essential oil’s impact on Galleria mellonella. Such responses include a change in hemocyte numbers and phagocytosis. This research concludes that lemongrass essential oil lowers the numbers of hemocytes in circulation of a triggered immune system, potentially also counteracting phagocytosis efficacy. This revelation could prove practical in integrated pest management strategies that involve biocontrol agents like parasitic nematodes.


Galleria mellonella, hemocytes, lemongrass, essential oils, biopesticides, insect immune system, Sumi ink, artificial implants

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Horticulture | Plant Sciences


© Kyndra Chastain

Open Access