College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

October in the News

Faculty Inducted into CAHNRS Hall of Honored Alumni

Dr. Debbie Inglis, Associate Professor in our department, was inducted into the CAHNRS Hall of Honored Alumni. Dr. Inglis, a WSU alum, was recognized by CAHNRS Dean, Dr. Dan Bernardo at a special ceremony held on October 10th in Ensminger Pavilion on WSU campus in Pullman.

Dr. Inglis’ exemplary contributions and accomplishments as a researcher, extension specialist, administrator, educator and student mentor have greatly increased the stature, prestige and visibility of our department, college and university, and she is most deserving of this recognition.


PhD Student Receives Award

Renuka Attanayake, PhD student with Dr. Weidong Chen, received second place award for the student oral competition at the Biannual Meeting of the North America Pulse Improvement Association (NAPIA) Oct 28-30, 2009 at Fort Collins, CO. Her presentation was entitled “Variation in fungicide sensitivity and mycelial compatibility between two field populations of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum” co-authored with Dennis Johnson, Lyndon Porter and Weidong Chen.

Image: Renuka receiving the award certificate from the Award Selection Committee chair Dr. Claire Domoney of John Innes Center of United Kingdom with NAPIA president Dr. Kevin McPhee looking on.

Faculty Mentors for Undergraduate Students

Two undergraduate students, Andrew Lee Schultz and Nathan Peterson were awarded $1000 grant each to work in the laboratories of Drs. Naidu Rayapati and Brenda Schroeder, respectively from CAHNRS Office of Academic Programs.  Andrew will be working on the epidemiology of Grapevine Leafroll disease, and Nathan will focus his efforts on understanding the movement of Enterobacter cloacae, the causal agent of Enterobacter bulb decay, in onion plants.

National Clean Plant Network Governing Board’s Visit Hosted by Dr. Ken Eastwell

The Governing Board members and selected invited guests made a site visit on October 21 and 22nd to the Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center (IAREC), Prosser to see the laboratory and greenhouse facilities of Dr. Ken Eastwell, Professor of Plant Pathology, and one of the project directors of the National Clean Plant Network-sponsored service centers in IAREC, Prosser.  Board members that visited Prosser included members of USDA-APHIS, USDA-ARS, and Florida and Michigan state departments of agriculture.

Faculty to Serve as Senior Editor of Plant Disease

Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey du Toit, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, for her appointment as the Senior Editor of Plant Disease beginning January 2010. Currently Dr. Debra Inglis and Dr. Xianming Chen are Senior Editors for Plant Disease and Dr. Chang-Lin Xiao is currently an Associate Editor for this journal.

Faculty Invited to Present Seminar

Dr. Lindsey du Toit was invited to give a seminar to the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University on October 19th. Her seminar was titled “Vegetable Seed Production in the Pacific Northwest: Development of Integrated Disease Management Programs”. Lindsey also met with various faculty, graduate students, and postdoctorates during her time at NCSU.

WSU Today Featured Project Funded by USDA-RAMP

The project, lead by Dr. Bill Snyder of Entomology and funded by USDA-RAMP, facilitates a multi-disciplinary and multi-state research addressing various potato pests and pathogens and to help potato farmers reduce their use of insecticides in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Hanu Pappu, Chair, is a co-PI on this project. For the full article, click here.

Congratuations to Plant Path Alumni

Congratulations to our PhD graduates, Dr. Nadav Nitzan (PhD with Dr. Dennis Johnson) and Dr. Vihanga Pahalawatta (PhD with Dr. Hanu Pappu)!  Nadav joined Pimi Agro Clean Tech LTD in Israel as a Senior Researcher. Vihanga recently joined Alcorn State University in Mississippi as a tenure-track assistant professor to start a research program in plant virology.

Graduate Student’s Research Update Published in Stakeholders’ Periodical

Congratulations to Jeremiah Dung, PhD student with Dr. Dennis Johnson! He recently published an update, co-authored by Dr. Johnson, of his ongoing research in Potato Progress, a periodical published by the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC).  The periodical, edited by Dr. Andrew Jensen, Director of Research at the WSPC, disseminates the latest in potato research to peers and stakeholders, providing updates of the progress made in various projects funded by the commission.

Dung, J.K.S., and D.A. Johnson. 2009. Relative Role of Infected Seed Tubers in Verticillium Wilt of Potato. Potato Progress. Volume IX, Number 12 October 9, 2009.

Dr. Johnson’s research on potato diseases has been continuously funded by WSPC. His research and extension programs addressing various important diseases of potato, and his stature as one of the leading potato researchers in the world, was recently recognized by his peers and stakeholders. He was recently conferred Life Time Membership Award by the Potato Association of America.

“And the Oscar goes to…”: Film on Pythium Root Rot a Winner at the AgroFilm Festival

Congratulations to Dr. Tim Paulitz who served as the technical and scientific advisor, and collaborator for the two DVDs on Rhizoctonia and Pythium Root Rot of Cereals. The Pythium film was awarded top prize at the 26th International Film Festival AGROFILM (1st Prize in the Category A “Scientific and Popular Scientific Films”).

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