WSU CAHNRS

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

August in the News

Back to School Picnic:

Our annual fall picnic was held at Sunnyside Park, hosted by Fun Committee members Hanu Pappu, Brenda Schroeder, Leigh Ann Harrison, Femi Alabi, and Martin Chilvers.

Travel Log:

Dr. Hanu Pappu was in Chile and Peru during the week of April 25, 2006. He was invited to visit the Virology and the Biotechnology Units of the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA), La Platina, Santiago. He toured the commercial vegetable fields (tomato, pepper, onion) in Santiago area, met with several growers and discussed various viral diseases of importance in that area.  He also visited several research and production fields of local seed companies. He gave an invited presentation on viral diseases of vegetables and their management at a meeting sponsored by the Chilean vegetable industry. He traveled to Valdivia (in southern Chile) to visit Dr. Luigi Ciampi, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Austral de Chile and gave a seminar on the characterization and control of thrips-transmitted tospoviruses in vegetable cropping systems. From Chile, he traveled to Lima, Peru and visited the International Potato Center (CIP) and held discussions with scientists in the Germplasm Conservation Division and the Plant Protection Division.   See highlights from his trip here.

Endowed Post Filled:

Dr. Lindsey du Toit, plant pathologist located at WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon, has been selected to fill the Alfred Christianson Endowed Professorship. This four-year endowment will provide funding to support her vegetable seed pathology research program. See the story in WSU Today Online.

Faculty Assignment:

Dr. Gary Grove has been named as the first director of the state’s newly expanded Agricultural Weather Network. Follow the link for details.

Who’s Who:

Introducing researchers in Dr. Tobin Peever’s lab:

Omer Frenkel – Omer is a Ph.D. student at Hebrew University of Jerusalem working with Shahal Abbo and Dani Shtienberg. He is visiting the lab for 3 months and is interested in the evolution of Ascochyta rabiei on wild and cultivated chickpeas and the ecological genetics of temperature adaptation in Ascochyta.

Suzie Jones – Suzie is a Ph.D. Student at the University of Tasmania working with Sarah Pethybridge and Frank Hays. She is visiting the lab for 2 weeks to initiate cloning and sequencing of the mating type locus in Didymella liguicola, an important pathogen of chrysanthemum in Tasmania. She plans to use the mating type sequence data to design a mating type-specific PCR assay for population studies of this pathogen.

Tamara Horton – Tammy is an undergraduate microbiology major at WSU who received a Center for Integrated Biotechnology Fellowship to support her research in Tobin’s lab during summer 2006. Tammy has been inoculating various legume species to determine the host range of Ascochyta spp. isolates sampled from wild legumes and has been developing an AFLP linkage map of an interspecific cross between A. fabae (faba bean pathogen) and A. pisi (pea pathogen).

Congratulations Graduate!:

Completing her degree during summer semester 2006, is Marion Andrew, M.S. with Dr. Tobin Peever. Marion will begin studies this fall toward a PhD at the University of Toronto. see photo

2006 Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society:

Dr. Chang-Lin Xiao received the Lee M. Hutchins Award at the meeting held July 29 through August 2 in Quebec City, Canada. see photo

Kurt Schroeder, PhD 2004 with Dr. Tim Paulitz, and Steve Klosterman, PhD 2002 with Dr. Lee Hadwiger, reunited for a photo op. see photo

2006 International Spinach Conference:

For the first time, the International Spinach Conference was held in La Conner, Washington, in northwestern Washington, the primary spinach seed production region in the United States. Over 150 spinach growers, researchers, breeders, consultants, seed dealers, field representatives and extension educators traveled to La Conner for the conference on 13-14 July, some from as far away as Denmark, England, Holland, Japan, and New Zealand. Presentations covered topics on general production, weed control, horticulture, and plant pathology in spinach and spinach seed production. Participants also toured local seed processing facilities and local vegetable seed fields. Lindsey du Toit, WSU vegetable seed pathologist, and Tim Miller, WSU weed scientist, coordinated the conference, which was sponsored by 13 seed companies and organizations.  Lindsey gave presentations on the following three topics at the conference: “Efficacy of Mustard Cover/Biofumigant Crops for Management of Weeds and Fusarium Wilt in Spinach Seed Production” by Lindsey du Toit and Tim Miller; “Efficacy of Seed Treatments for Control of Stemphylium botryosum in Spinach” by Lindsey du Toit, Mike Derie, and Louise Brissey; and “Screening for Resistance to Stemphylium Leaf Spot of Spinach” by Beiquan Mou (USDA-ARS), Steven T. Koike (University of California), and Lindsey du Toit.

Research Highlight:

Meet Dr. Ken Eastwell, Associate Scientist in the Department of Plant Pathology, located at WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, a plant pathologist whose research focuses on virology in perennial crops, and read about his current research program (click here).

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