College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

October in the News

Faculty Elected Secretary of International Working Group

Dr. Hanu Pappu, Professor and Chair, was elected Secretary of the International Working Group on Viruses of Legumes and Vegetables.  Members are from more than 27 Countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, with research programs based in academia, government or industry and are actively engaged in research on vegetable and/or legume viruses.

Faculty Invited to Speak at Cornell University

Dr. Mark Mazzola, Research Plant Pathologist with USDA-ARS and adjunct professor in our department gave an invited seminar in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, Ithaca on October 24. His seminar was on “Biofumigation: It may be more about soil biology than fumigation”. He met with graduate students in the department, participated in a round table discussion with those working in the area of replant diseases, and participated in the plant-microbe interactions class taught by Dr. Janice Thies where the class happened to be discussing Dr. Mazzola’s 2007 review paper from the Journal of Nematology!

Faculty Invited to Speak at U.S./Mexico Organic Seed WorkshopDr. Lindsey du Toit was invited by the American Seed Trade Association to speak at a U.S./Mexico Organic Seed Workshop in Merida, Mexico on October 21. The workshop was attended by about 30 representatives from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and USDA National Organic Program; American Seed Trade Association; state and federal organic inspection and trade organizations; seed industry representatives from Mexico, the USA, and Europe; representatives of Mexican agricultural and phytosanitary regulatory agencies; and seed consultants. The objectives of the workshop were to: 1) develop a better understanding of the organic production system and regulations in Mexico, and the phytosanitary issues that impact availability of organic seed in Mexico; and 2) to develop a strategy for adoption of appropriate, feasible, phytosanitary import measures for organic and non-treated seed to fulfill the needs of the organic production market in Mexico.Lindsey gave a presentation titled ‘Research on Organic Seed Treatments: Spinach as a Case Study’.

Faculty Appointed Associate Professor-Extraordinary

Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey du Toit,

Associate Professor in our department and located at the NWREC, Mount Vernon. Dr. du Toit has been appointed as Associate Professor-Extraordinary in the Department of Plant Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, South Africa, for a period of three years beginning October 1, 2011.
The University of Stellenbosch created this category of appointment to give recognition to individuals for their proven specialized expertise, and/or their eminence in their profession and field of study, and to involve them in academic programs of the relevant department.
Dr. du Toit holds the Alfred Christianson Endowed Professorship in Vegetable Seed Science. The endowment was established by the family of Alfred Christianson, founder of the Alf Christianson Seed Company, to “attract and retain a world-renowned scholar and practitioner with special expertise in vegetable seed science.”
Dr. du Toit was the recipient of the Early Career Award from the Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). The award recognizes upcoming young scientists who are members and have made distinguished contributions to plant pathology. The Pacific Division is the largest of the divisions within APS and includes members living in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.
Dr. du Toit earned her masters and doctorate degrees, majoring in plant pathology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

German Professor’s Visit to the Department

Dr. Karl-Heinz Kogel, Professor, Research Center for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition, Justus Liebig University visited the department on October 10-11 and gave a seminar, “Broad Spectrum Suppression of Innate Immunity is Required for Colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana Roots by the Fungus Piriformospora indica”. His seminar was jointly sponsored by Plant Pathology, and Crops and Soil Sciences (CSS). He was hosed by Dr. Diter von Wettstein, professor in CSS. Professor Kogel visited with plant pathology faculty and held discussions.

Prof. Kogel studied biology and social sciences at the Rheinland-Westfalen Institute of Technology Aachen, obtained his B.Sc. inBiology and his Ph. D. in 1984 in the field of Plant Physiology. He was a visiting scientist at the Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; did postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research at Cologne, and worked as patent attorney in the area of BioPatents. He obtained his Habilitation (D.Sc.) at RWTH Aachen on biochemical mechanisms of disease development in cereals. Since 1996, Dr. Kogel is a professor at the Institute for Phytopathology and Applied Zoology (IPAZ), Justus-Liebig- University Giessen. He served as Vice-President of the Justus-Liebig-University from 2006 to 2010. His research interests are in the areas of Cell Biological Mechanisms of Disease Resistance in Cereals, Biological Plant Protection and Plant Biotechnology.

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