Hanu Pappu, a Washington State University professor, and a colleague from Australia have deciphered the inner workings of one of the world’s most destructive crop viruses.
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is a global pest estimated to cause more than $1 billion in crop losses each year. Like the other 25 known tospoviruses, TSWV is spread by thrips, tiny black-winged insects that feed on the sap of many food, fiber and feed plants including bean, lettuce, peanut, pepper, potato and tomato.
The strategy for reducing damage caused by TSWV is to grow virus-resistant crop varieties. However, viruses are notorious for overcoming resistance. Read more at WSU News.
Parama Sikdar from Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University (WSU) recently obtained her PhD degree in December 2013. Mark Mazzola and Changlin Xiao served as major advisors while Tobin Peever and Patricia Okubara were on her supervisory committee. Sikdar’s research program was conducted at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center and the USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Lab in Wenatchee. Her dissertation was entitled “Biology and epidemiology of Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis on apple” and her research focused on developing an understanding of the epidemiology and population structure of Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis in Washington State. She also developed a real-time PCR protocol which enables detection of latent fruit infections caused by P. washingtonensis and Sphaeropsis pyriputrscens. Results from these studies could benefit apple fruit growers in making decisions on the timely application of control strategies and for inspection of apple fruit destined for export market. Prior to joining WSU, she worked as a Research Biologist at Chembiotek, which is a CRO under the Chatterjee Group, Kolkata, India and had obtained her B.S (honors, 2003-06) and M.S(2006-08) in Botany from the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India. Starting in January, 2014 she would begin studies as a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Plant Pathology at Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN under the direction of Margaret Mmbaga.
Dr. Mark Mazzola, Adjunct Professor in the department and Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS in Wenatchee, delivered an invited address at the conference “Fruits and Roots: a celebration and forward look” in East Malling, United Kingdom. The conference was held as part of a series of activities to mark the centenary of East Malling Research. His talk was entitled “Resilience of orchard replant soils to pathogen re-infestation in response to Brassicaceae seed meal amendment”.
Dr. Lindsey du Toit was invited by Gail Ruhl, Plant Diagnostician, to give a seminar titled “Establishing a career in applied plant pathology” to the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, on 9 October 2013. Lindsey met with graduate students, postdoctorates, and individual faculty during her visit to the department on 9-10 October. Lindsey also was invited to speak on this topic as part of the Guest Speaker Seminar Program of the Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association of the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. Her seminar was presented on 28 October 2013. Lindsey met with faculty, staff, and graduate students at the Wooster campus on 28 October and the Columbus campus on 29 October.
In November, Lindsey du Toit was invited to speak at the 2013 UK Onion & Carrot Conference (http://www.onionandcarrotconference.co.uk/) in Peterborough, England on 19-20 November 2013. Her presentation in the onion program was titled “Neck Rot Identification and Management Based on Achilles’ Heel”. The onion session was attended by ~350 registrants from the UK and European Union. Lindsey met with researchers, consultants, and growers during the event to discuss neck rot and other onion diseases.
Katie McKeever, a Ph.D. candidate in Gary Chastagner’s lab, is working under a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to create a nationwide collection of Phytophthoras from Christmas trees to understand regional variation in pathogen populations. Research is highlighted on NBC News’ web site
No more pitting guava against eucalyptus when it comes to explaining how a poorly understood fungal disease spreads. That is the conclusion reported by an international team of scientists in the journal Molecular Ecology (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.12545/full). The team used a common forensic technique to clear guava’s good name.
In reaching its conclusion, the team of Brazilians, Koreans and Americans turned to plant pathologist Tobin Peever of Washington State University. At issue was a fungal pathogen called Puccinia psidii that attacks eucalyptus trees. Read more.
Tucked within the massive Capitol Christmas Tree headed for Washington, D.C. are three tiny sensors most people will never see. They will collect information on how well the tree holds moisture during its 25-day journey from Washington state.
Researcher Katie McKeever placed the data devices deep inside the canopy of the 88-foot-tall Engelmann spruce last weekend as it was loaded onto a flatbed trailer on the Colville National Forest in Pend Oreille County.
“These HOBO data loggers automatically measure temperature every 15 minutes, providing statistics about the ambient environment inside the tree canopy,” said McKeever, a graduate student in plant pathology at Washington State University Puyallup. “Information will be collected to observe any changes in the moisture content of the tree during shipment.”
Read more about McKeever and PhD major professor, Dr. Gary Chastagner, here.
Dr. Hanu Pappu, Sam Smith Distinguished Professor in the department of plant pathology, was selected by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) to receive Dr. BP Pal Chair Award for 2013. The Academy instituted the INSA BP Pal Chair to recognize distinguished scientists from all over the world and to facilitate their visit to India and interactions with the Indian scientists at various scientific Institutions. The BP Pal Chair is awarded to those scientists with an exemplary record of scholarship with national and international stature in the field of agricultural research. Pappu plans to deliver seminars, guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate classes at various agricultural universities in India and meet with several Indian scientists engaged in research in agricultural biotechnology to explore and develop joint research projects and grant pro
Pappu’s research focus is on the biology, epidemiology and molecular biology of insect-borne plant viruses especially on thrips-tospoviruses pest complex affecting vegetables. He published more than 150 refereed journal articles, several invited reviews, and delivered invited talks at national and international conferences. He served on the organizing committees of several international conferences on plant viruses held in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. He has ongoing international collaborations and research projects in more than 18 countries. Pappu was recently elected to serve as the Secretary of the International Working Group on Viruses of Legumes and Vegetables with more than 150 members from 27 countries. He is a graduate faculty of the WSU’s Interdisciplinary PhD program in Molecular Plant Sciences. Pappu teaches a graduate course in virology and team teaches an undergraduate course in plant pathology and a graduate course on molecular genetics of plant-microbe interactions. He serves as the Director of the Plant Pathology Graduate Program – the largest plant pathology graduate program in the country with students receiving NSF, Fulbright and ARCS Fellowships.
Dr. B.P. Pal (May 26, 1906- September 14, 1989), in whose honor this award was instituted by INSA, was the first Director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India’s premier federal agricultural research agency. He was one of the foremost scientists in wheat genetics and breeding. He obtained his PhD from Cambridge and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972.
A Celebration of Excellence reception to recognize recent achievements of Plant Pathology personnel was held November 1. We have been busy! Scroll through the attached to see some of the things we’ve accomplished.
If you’re looking for Gary Chastagner around this time of year, you would do well to put out an all-points bulletin to Wherever Christmas Trees Are Sold. He’s perused trees up and down the West Coast, as well as in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, and Texas. Just look for the cheerful fellow taking clippings, bending needles, and chatting up the owners about things like moisture content and needle retention.
Chastagner, officially a plant pathologist with the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, is better known as “Mr. Christmas Tree.” For more than 30 years, his pursuit of new knowledge about the trees has been so thorough that it would be called obsessive, were it not science. He has studied tree diseases, analyzed species from around the world, deconstructed tree stands, and grappled with that bane of the Christmas tree consumer, needles on the carpet. Read more.
Congratulations are due to Debbie Inglis, whose team just received a ‘NIFA Partnership Award for Innovative Programs and Projects’ from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Debbie leads the Biodegradable Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced Under Protective Covers project along with Co-PD Carol Miles (Horticulture Dept.) who is also stationed at the Mount Vernon REC. There are several hundred thousand acres of crops grown under plastic in the US to control weeds, conserve soil moisture, increase crop yields, modify soil temperature, and shorten the time to harvest. Production and disposal of the plastic creates significant environmental challenges and development, testing and adoption of alternatives is the focus of the project. The transdisciplinary project team includes scientists specializing in Biological Systems Engineering, Economics, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Sociology, Soils and Textiles Science, from six institutions in several states. Conception, design and management of these large multidisciplinary projects that include research, extension and outreach requires amazing efforts from faculty members, and we are thrilled to see the success of the project acknowledged by the primary USDA funding agency. This is an exceptional example of what we are trying to achieve in our research and extension efforts at WSU.
Read more in article from WSU News
Inglis and Miles accept award from Undersecretary Woteki:
- Researchers uncover secrets of destructive plant virus
- Successful PhD defense
- Faculty members deliver invited presentations
- ‘A national problem’: Root rot attacking Christmas trees
- Researchers acquit guava of spreading deadly fungus
- WSU research tucked inside traveling Capitol Christmas Tree
- Faculty Receives Dr. BP Pal Distinguished Chair Award from the Indian National Science Academy
- Celebrating Excellence
- Ask Mr. Christmas Tree
- NIFA Award to Debbie Inglis’s team
- ‘Mushroom queen’ hunts fungus among us
- Grad student fellows: Top scientists funded to address world’s problems
- Murray expands teaching to include extension audiences
- Borlaug LEAP Fellow
- Plant Pathology at the CAHNRS Fall Festival
- Borlaug Fellow from Azerbaijan
- Stuart Grigg visits WSU Mount Vernon
- Graduate Student Awarded Competitive Travel Grant from NSF and USDA NIFA to attend Plant Biology 2013
- FAQs WSU Game Day – October 31
- Graduate Student Invited to Present Doctoral Research at Imaging and Robotics Symposium
- Congratulations to Sudarsana Poojari for successfully defending his PhD thesis
- Fall 2013 plant pathology picnic held in Sunnyside Park, Pullman
- Welcome to new grad students in the department
- Campus Safety – Message from the Provost’s Office
- Plant Pathology Faculty Selected as the Associate Dean, WSU Graduate School
- Plant Pathology Professor Appointed as Director of the IAREC, Prosser
- Faculty Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
- USDA NIFA SCRI-Funded Project Receives Honorable Mention
- WSU Plant Pathology Prominently Featured in the APS PD Newsletter
- Graduate Student’s Successful Defense
- Israeli Professor’s Visit
- PhD student’s successful thesis defense
- Guest Speaker from UC Davis
- Graduate student’s successful defense
- Graduate Student Wins 2nd Place in APS PD Student Paper Competition
- Statewide Retreat and Research Expo 2013
- Graduate Student’s visit to Brazil
- Faculty Delivers Invited Talks in South Africa
- NMSU Faculty’s Visit
- Science EXPO Day at Seattle Center: Plant Pathology Staff and Students at the WSU Booth
- Graduate Student’s Successful Defense
- Retirement Reception for Prof. Jack Rogers
- Nature Conservancy’s Visit
- Faculty Research in the News
- Plant Pathology Graduate Student is an ARCS Fellow
- Congratulations to Dr. Sudeep Bag
- Graduate Students to Receive Lindahl Memorial Scholarship
- Stopping the Spread of Sudden Oak Death
- Dr. Roger Innes from Indiana University Visits the Department
- Graduate Student receives Smick Scholarship
- Graduate Student Research Presentation
- Undergraduate Student Research Presentation
- Webinar: Mysterious World of Mushrooms
- New Student is ARCS Foundation Award Recipient
- Faculty Recognition
- On the Cover
- Graduate Student to Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
- Finalists in WSU Global Case Competition
- Congratulations to Danny Humphreys, PhD student in Dr. Axel Elling’s lab
- Faculty Member to Receive Award
- Retirement Reception for Professor Jack Rogers
- Faculty Discusses Why Historical Data Could Hold the Key to Understanding Stem Rust
- Student-Invited Distinguished Seminar Series
- Faculty Elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society
- Faculty to Receive CAHNRS Team Award for Research Excellence
- Dr. Marianne Elliott to receive the 2013 CAHNRS Award of Excellence
- Plant Path Graduate Student to Receive ARCS Fellowship
- Faculty Delivers Invited Talk in Kenya
- 2012 Employee of the Year
- Dr. Laura Davies joins Dr. Axel Elling’s lab as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate
- Please welcome Dr. Mohammad Arif to the department
- Faculty publication among most downloaded in 2012
- Faculty Chosen to Lead APS Press
- January in the News