College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

October in the News


Graduate students enrolled in Viruses and Virus Diseases of Plants, Pl P 511, met with Dr. Bill Dawson, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, Florida. The students attended Dr. Dawson’s seminar at University of Idaho on October 26, 2006.  Dr. Dawson later visited Dr. Hanu Pappu’s laboratory and held discussions.

On Solid Ground:

Research efforts toward preventing late blight by Drs. Dennis Johnson and Debra Inglis were recently highlighted in an article in CAHNRS weekly, electronic newsletter, On Solid Ground.

Research Highlight:

Meet Dr. Dean Glawe , Scientist in the Department of Plant Pathology, located at the UW College of Forest Resources in Seattle, a plant pathologist whose research focuses on the Systematics and Biology of Economically Important Fungi in the Pacific Northwest, and read about his current research program (click here).

Me and My Shadow:

Lacey Hulbert spent a day doing a ‘job shadow’ with Lindsey du Toit’s vegetable seed pathology program at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC on October 18th. Lacey is a senior at La Conner High School in La Conner, Washington, and plans to become an agricultural major at Washington State University in 2007. Lacey’s parents, Jack and Renee Hulbert, are co-owners of Skagit Seed Services in La Conner, Washington. Lacey helped run soil dilution assays for the fungus that causes Fusarium wilt of spinach, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. spinaciae, a very important pathogen of spinach seed crops in the Pacific Northwest.

AgWeatherNet Update:

The Washington AgWeatherNet program was recently highlighted in WSU Today. Dr. Gary Grove, Program Director, is quoted, “The primary goal of AgWeatherNet is to make farming more profitable and, in doing so, strengthen Washington’s economy. Everyone in the state can benefit from that.” Follow the link to read more about this program.

Mushroom Weekend:

Seventeen mushroom enthusiasts from the department and their friends participated in the annual Priest Lake Fall Mushroom Weekend October 6-8.  The group, including ten hardy graduate students, tent-camped at the Indian Creek Campground, on the east side of Priest Lake in northern Idaho.   The campers braved below-freezing temperatures at night (photo) and BEARS (photo) roaming the campground.  Despite the dry conditions, a number of interesting (and tasty!) fungi were found, including white chanterelles (Cantharellus subalbidus [no photo due to having been eaten]) and yellow-footed chanterelles (Cantharellus infundibuliformis), which were cooked up and enjoyed by the group around the campfire on Saturday evening.  Dusty bear foot prints (photo) on the cars Sunday morning, and bizarre piles of stones and stick figures that appeared in front of one of the tents during the night (photo) led this weekend adventure to become known as the “Bear Witch Project”!

Spring 2007 Course Announcement:

Drs. Lori Carris and Jack Rogers will again be offering “Molds, Mildews, Mushrooms: The Fifth Kingdom,” Pl P 150, during spring semester. This popular three-credit course fulfills GenEd Science Q course requirement. Students have the opportunity to learn how molds and mushrooms have helped shape the natural world and changed the course of human history. To quote one former senior student, “this was about the most exciting course I’ve taken at WSU!”

Faculty Update:

Dr. Mark Mazzola, Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS in Wenatchee and adjunct faculty in Plant Pathology, was recently appointed as Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology in Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch South Africa. Dr. Mazzola is currently on sabbatical at Cornell with Rosemary Loria in the Department of Plant Pathology. See page 4 of the attached newsletter from Stellenbosch University announcing his appointment.

Guest Speaker:

Special guest Dr. Walt Kaiser was the speaker for our Fall Seminar Series on October 9. Dr. Kaiser is a retired plant pathologist who worked with the USDA Plant Introduction Unit in Pullman and was also an adjuct faculty member in the Department of Plant Pathology. His seminar title was “Experiences and travels of a retired plant pathologist.” The graduate students hosted Dr. Kaiser for lunch and a reception was held that evening at the Holiday Inn Express.


The Fun Committee hosted a welcome reception for Dr. Scot Hulbert, who joined the department on July 1 as the R. James Cook Endowed Chair in Cropping Systems Pathology.

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