April in the News
|Faculty Invited to Contribute to the APS Education Center
The on-line reference source on fungi, “Introduction to Fungi” by Dr. Lori Carris, associate professor in the department (co-authored by C.R. Little and WSU Plant Pathology alumna C.M. Stiles), The Plant Health Instructor. DOI:10.1094/PHI-I-2012-0426-01 is now available at the APS Education Center: http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/PathogenGroups/Pages/IntroFungi.aspx. The Introduction is a comprehensive, illustrated treatment of the Fungi and fungal-like organisms and their roles as biotrophs, saprotrophs and pathogens.
|Plant Pathology Graduate Students to receive ARCS Fellowships
Christian Aguilar (pictured left, PhD student with Drs. Mark Mazzola and Chang-Lin Xiao) and Katie McKeever (pictured right,PhD student with Dr. Gary Chastagner) have been selected to receive the highly prestigious and competitive Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholarship from the ARCS-Seattle Chapter (http://www.seattlearcsfoundation.org/). Christian’s and Katie’s strong academic and research performance and their leadership skills were recognized and complimented by the ARCS Foundation.
Other Plant Pathology ARCS Fellows include Dr. Jane Stewart (PhD, WSU, with Dr. Tobin Peever), and Mr. Aaron Agostini (PhD student with Dr. Dennis Johnson).
Plant Pathology is one of only four departments in WSU to have earned this recognition by the ARCS Foundation.
From the ARCS web site: The ARCS Foundation-Seattle Chapter (http://www.seattlearcsfoundation.org/), a group of 121 dedicated women, has given over $11.5 million in fellowships to the University of Washington and Washington State University since 1978. Their goal is to provide our state’s two premier research institutions with a competitive edge in recruiting the nation’s finest doctoral students in the fields of science, engineering and medical research. Fellowships are a grant of $17,500 over three years that the Seattle Chapter funds for graduate students at UW and WSU. The UW and WSU use these grants to attract graduate students with outstanding scholastic records who receive multiple offers to study at the best universities in the country.
Congratulations to Christian and Katie!
Dr. Tim Murray, professor of plant pathology, presented a webinar as part of the Great Plains Diagnostic Network spring webinar series on Wednesday April 11, 2012 entitled “Role of alternate hosts in development and control of rust diseases of field crops.” Webinars are posted at www.gpdn.org.
Karen Ward, Plant Diagnostician for the WSU Pullman Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic (PPDC), was featured in the April 2012 issue of Wheat Life. The article highlights the services the PPDC can provide to wheat growers and stakeholders, including potentially significant economic savings, and encourages wheat growers to utilize the PPDC. Karen can be contacted at the PPDC at (509) 335-3292 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, visit the PPDC website
|2012 Sam Smith Lecture
Debrorah Atwood, Executive Director of Meridian Institute – AGree, Washington, DC, presented a seminar entitled “Global Challenges in the 21st Century: Transforming Food and Ag Policy” as part of the President Samuel Smith Lecture Series in the department on April 12, 2012. The Samuel Smith Lecture has been established in the department to recognize Dr. Smith, Professor Emeritus in the department. Dr. Smith served as WSU’s president from 1985-2000. He earned two plant pathology degrees from the University of California Berkley, a bachelor’s in 1961 and a Ph. D. in 1964, and was Dean of College of Agriculture at Penn State before moving to WSU as President.
AGree seeks to improve agricultural productivity and environmental performance, enhance availability of and access to nutritious food, and promote opportunities for rural communities to succeed economically.
Deb Atwood has more than 30 years of experience in policy and legislative matters regarding food, agriculture, the environment, research, and risk management, including extensive experience working with executives in the private sector, federal government, and nonprofit organizations.
Prior to joining Meridian, Atwood was an Associate for Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at Mars, Incorporated. In this role, she worked closely with lawmakers in Congress and senior officials in the White House, and federal agencies. Previously, she was a Senior Policy Advisor with Crowell & Moring, on behalf of clients in the agricultural, food, environmental, mining, and chemical industries. She served from 2001 to 2003 as a Special Assistant to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jim Moseley. From 1995 until 1999 she was Assistant Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council. Atwood served from 1989 to 1992 as Deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She served as head of the Congressional Affairs Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prior to taking the EPA position. She serves on the board of ACDI-VOCA, an agriculture development nonprofit organization with many years of experience working in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Atwood’s visit included a lunch meeting with graduate students in the department.
The visit was co-sponsored by WSU Office of Research. Big thanks to Dr. Howard Grimes, Vice President for Research and Dean, Graduate School for his support.
|Faculty’s Feature Article on Tospoviruses Highlighted in APS Newscapsule
A review article, co-authored by Dr. Hanu Pappu and published in Plant Disease, was featured in the April issue of APS News Capsule.
“Plant Disease Feature Article: Emerging Problems of Tospoviruses. In this month’s feature article, B. Mandal and colleagues discuss emerging diseases caused by tospoviruses and their distribution in the Indian subcontinent. The authors discuss virus relationships, vectors, and epidemiology of the five tospoviruses known to occur there. Of the five, Groundnut bud necrosis virus and Watermelon bud necrosis virus are becoming increasingly important in vegetables. Interestingly, Tomato spot wilted virus and Impatiens necrotic spot virus, two widely established tospoviruses on vegetables throughout much of the world, are not known to occur in India.”
|Congratulations to Mr. Segun Akinbade for successfully defending his MS thesis on April 2nd. Segun’s supervisory committee included Drs. Ken Eastwell (chair), Lindsey du Toit, Dennis Johnson, and Richard Larsen.
His MS dissertation was on GENETIC DIVERSITY IN VIRUSES ASSOCIATED WITH APPLE GREEN CRINKLE DISEASE.
(pictured left to right: R. Larsen, K. Eastwell, S. Akinbade, L. du Toit, D. Johnson)
Segun’s research evaluated the genetic diversity of viruses associated with this disease. Shoots from AGCD-symptomatic and asymptomatic trees were obtained during the summer of 2010 and 2011 from North Carolina (NC) and Washington State (WA), and all samples were indexed for the presence of Apple mosaic virus (ApMV), ACLSV, ASGV, ASPV, viroids (in the genus Apscaviroid) and phytoplasmas. Results from these analyses demonstrated that ACLSV, ApMV, viroids (entire genus Apscavirod) and phytoplasmas were not associated with AGCD. Genetic diversity analysis of the coat protein (CP) and replicase genes and triple gene block (TGBs) sequences of ASPV and ASGV were studied. Genetic diversity analysis of virus populations revealed that whereas ASGV populations were genetically conserved in both AGCD-symptomatic and asymptomatic trees, populations of ASPV were highly variable. Phylogenic analysis of CP sequences of ASPV revealed six major groups of sequence variants with two of six phylogroups comprised only of sequences from AGCD-symptomatic trees. These results point to the possible involvement of one or more of the ASPV variants, with or without ASGV, in the etiology of AGCD, and will direct future efforts to identify and characterize putative causal agent(s) of AGCD in symptomatic apple fruits.
Segun is a native of Nigeria and grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria. His love for science while in high school prompted him to register for a National Diploma in Science Laboratory Technology at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Nigeria. While studying at Ede, he visited the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria on an excursion tour and was amazed with the level of research in this institute. After his program, he joined IITA in 1995. While at IITA, he obtained Final Diploma (equivalent of baccalaureate degree) in Microbiology/Virology option from University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and a Postgraduate Diploma in Crop Protection from University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.