College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

August in the News

Faculty Receives Fellow Award from the American Phytopathological Society

Dr. Tim Murray, professor of plant pathology, was elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). He was recognized at the 2010 annual meeting of the APS held in Charlotte, NC in August.

Special Seminars Delivered by International Visitors

The department was the destination for several international speakers in the month of August.  Dr. Peter Bakker, Utrecht University, The Netherlands presented a seminar “Induced Systemic Resistance by Biocontrol Agents.”

Dr. Rodrigo Mendes, Post Doctorate and Dr. Jos Raaijmaikers, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands talked about “Unravelling Disease Suppressive Soils“.

Both visits were hosted by Dr. Dave Weller.

Dr. Weidong Chen hosted the visit and a seminar on ‘Banking on Medicago truncatula genome for improving chickpea resistance to diseases’ by Ms. Eva Maria Madrid, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.

International Seed Health Initiative Vegetable Technical Group Visits Program

The meeting of the International Seed Health Initiative Vegetable Technical Group (ISHI VTG) took place in Seattle, WA on August 3-5, 2010. About 35 members of the ISHI VTG, primarily seed pathologists from public and private research faciltiies and seed companies in the EU, UK, Israel, and Japan, visited the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington on August 5, 2010. Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Assoc. Professor in the WSU Dept. of Plant Pathology, located at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, gave the visitors a tour of the NWREC, including her research and extension program in vegetable seed pathology. Lindsey also showed the international group of visitors spinach, table beet, cabbage, and grass seed crops growing in the Skagit Valley. Prior to the ISHI VTG meeting, Dr. du Toit participated in the International Seed Federation’s Pathogen Coding Working Group meeting on August 2, 2010 in Seattle to discuss seed borne pathogen coding and nomenclature in relation to international seed trade.

Student Visitor

Christina Islas, graduate student in the lab of Prof. Tom Gordon at the University of California-Davis, visited the Vegetable Seed Pathology program of Dr. Lindsey du Toit at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC on 13th-14th August. Christina’s graduate research project is on Fusarium wilt in strawberry crops. Dr. Gordon is also on the graduate committee of Emily Gatch, a PhD student in Dr. du Toit’s program. Emily is working on Fusarium wilt in spinach seed crops for her PhD project. The purpose of Christina’s visit was to exchange ideas about Fusarium wilt management and research directions, and for Christina to see this pathogen on different crops. Emily Gatch coordinated Christina’s visit. Lindsey’s program greatly enjoyed showing Christina the Skagit Valley agriculture and discussing ‘all things Fusarium‘.

Congratulations to our Summer Graduates!

Sahar Eid completed the requirements for the award of a PhD degree.  Prior to joining our department, she received her MS from the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon. Sahar’s PhD thesis was on biological and molecular studies on caulimoviruses in natural and managed ecosystems. Her PhD supervisory committee included Hanu Pappu (chair), Amit Dhingra, Scot Hulbert and Alex Karasev. Sahar will be joining Karasev at University of Idaho as a post-doctoral associate.

Zareen Dossey completed her MS program under the supervision of Dr. Ekaterini Riga. Her thesis title is “Potential of green manure biofumigants and seed exudates in the control of Globodera pallida, the white potato cyst nematode.”

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