College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

February in the News

WSU Today Feature

An article highlighting WSU AgWeatherNet, which Dr. Gary Grove is the director, was published in the February 15 edition of WSU Today. This research was also featured in the March 11 edition of On Solid Ground.

Dr. Tim Murray Elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society

Dr. Tim Murray, Professor of Plant Pathology in our department was elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). Dr. Murray  will be recognized at a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the APS in Nashville, TN this August.

Dr. Tim Murray, a native of California, earned a B.S. in Plant Science from UC-Davis, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology from Washington State University. He joined the WSU faculty in 1983 with research responsibility for diseases of small grains. He was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and to full professor in 1995.  He has taught general plant pathology annually since 1983, was Graduate Program Coordinator from 1991 to 2000, and served as the Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology from 2000 to 2008.

Dr. Murray has made key contributions to understanding the etiology, epidemiology, and management of Cephalosporium stripe, eyespot, and snow mold diseases of winter wheat.  His contributions as a cooperating plant pathologist have been essential to wheat breeding programs incorporating genetic resistance to these diseases for the Pacific Northwest as well as other regions of the world.  Currently, he is part of a multidisciplinary team developing perennial wheat as a new alternative crop to reduce soil erosion, and in the 1980s his research contributed to a 90% reduction in the amount of fungicide used to control eyespot disease on nearly 1 million acres of wheat in the Pacific Northwest. In recognition of his expertise on wheat diseases, Dr. Murray was invited to chair the committee developing the U.S. recovery plan for wheat stem rust race Ug99 and is a member of the USDA Ug99 Action Plan working group.  Dr. Murray has published over 50 refereed journal articles and has an extensive publication record in the popular and technical presses.  He is the author of ‘A Colour Handbook of Diseases of Small Grain Cereal Crops’ and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Plant Pathology, both of which are widely used reference books.

Dr. Murray has and continues to provide exemplary service to the APS through service on several committees, editorial boards, and planning boards.  As the founding Editor-in-Chief of Plant Health Progress, he provided the visionary leadership that lead to publication of the first APS electronic-only journal and establishment of the multi-journal, multi-disciplinary Plant Management Network, which is a web portal for credible science-based information on management of plants and their problems by practitioners. He has made significant contributions to APS Journals having served both as Associate and Senior Editor of Plant Disease. He was the APS representative on the editorial board of the Journal of Production Agriculture, a member of the Editorial Committee for the Annual Review of Phytopathology, and currently is associate editor for the European Journal of Plant Pathology.  He was secretary-treasurer of the APS Pacific Division from 1992-1995 and currently serves on the APS Foundation Board and ad hoc Committee on Future Education of Plant Pathologists.

Dr. Murray maintains an active teaching program and has mentored 17 graduate students to M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, served on the graduate committees of 35 other students, and directed 6 postdoctoral scientists. Dr. Murray’s sustained record of research productivity, teaching excellence, university and society service, and visionary leadership make him most deserving of the APS Fellow award.

WSU Today published a full article featuring Dr. Murray’s award in the February 22 edition.


Dr. Gary Grove to receive Excellence in Extension Award from the American Phytopathological Society

Dr. Gary Grove, Professor of Plant Pathology in our department and located at IAREC, Prosser, was selected to receive the American Phytopathological Society (APS) Excellence in Extension Award. Dr. Grove will be recognized at a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the APS in Nashville, TN this August.

Dr. Grove, a native of Ohio, received his B.S. and M.S. in Botany from Ohio University and in 1984 his PhD in Plant Pathology from The Ohio State University.  He held appointments with Rohm and Haas, and University California, Davis before joining the faculty at Washington State University in 1986 and promoted to Professor in 2006.  He has statewide responsibilities for grapes, hops, and stone fruits and a split appointment of extension, research, teaching, and administration.

Dr. Grove is a world leader in the development of cutting edge information delivery approaches to get stakeholders information when and where they need it.  Before World Wide Web, he was one of the first to establish electronic bulletin boards to facilitate communication among stakeholders and extension/research personnel.  As technology changed, he developed downloadable videos for hand-held devices and developed databases and compatible web pages that allowed growers to view information on pesticide recommendations, labels, and resistance management while in the field.  In two years as the director of the Ag Weather Network, he established a network of 132 weather stations throughout Washington State that provides real-time weather and forecast data and various pest models and disease forecasts.  The website receives 400,000 visits per month and uses text messaging and synthetic voice technology to deliver weather and pest alerts.  His extension and research efforts have provided unique insights in pathogen biology and disease epidemiology in irrigated perennial agriculture and resulted in a 60% decrease in fungicide use in Washington vineyards and cherry orchards.

Later, Dr. Grove recognized that many of his clientele were becoming comfortable with portable electronic and communication devices and he rapidly adapted his outreach efforts to take advantage of these technologies.  He took advantage of the opportunity offered by video iPods to deliver downloadable videos on sprayer calibration, diagnosis, epidemiology and management of various diseases, and the use of disease forecasting models.  When Smartphones and PDAs began to be carried by many of his clientele, he developed databases- and Smartphone/PDA-compatible web pages that allowed growers to view information on pesticide recommendations, and labels without returning to their office computer.  He later developed tools to deliver weather and disease forecasting alerts using text messaging.  His most recent innovation is the use of synthetic voice technology to deliver to his clientele voice messages on weather and disease forecasting model data.

Dr. Grove is a leader in the area of biology and epidemiology of powdery mildews and other diseases of fruit crops.  He has received over $2.7 million in competitive and noncompetitive funding. He has published 48 peer reviewed papers, 39 extension bulletins, 30 web pages, 8 educational videos, 7 disease or pesticide data bases, 9 book chapters, 105 technical publications, 13 popular press articles, and given more than 300 invited presentations.

WSU Today published a full article featuring Dr. Grove’s award in the March 8 edition.


Awards Received at Poster Sessions

Dr. Naidu Rayapati and his team won recognition for their research on grape viruses at Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers 2010 Annual Meeting, Trade Show and Convention, held during February 3-5, 2010 at Kennewick, Washington State.

Awards were:

Third Place in Poster Session under Professional Category:
Epidemiology of grapevine leafroll disease in Washington vineyards.
Authors: Olufemi Alabi, Tefera Mekuria, Gandhi Karthikeyan, Sridhar Jarugula, Sudarsana Poojari, Doug Walsh and Rayapati Naidu.
Poster was presented by Olufemi Alabi.
Second place in Poster Session under Undergraduate Student Category:
Strengthening undergraduate education in V&E program at WSU through hands-on research experiences.
Authors: Andrew Schlutz, Julia Kock, Tefera Mekuria, Joan Davenport and Rayapati Naidu
Poster presented by Andrew Schultz

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