The mission of Washington State University’s Department of Plant Pathology is to advance understanding of the biology of pathogenic and beneficial microbes and their interactions with plants. The faculty focuses on all aspects of plant health and pathology including the identification, characterization, evolution, and management of disease-causing and beneficial microbes via graduate and undergraduate instruction, post-doctoral training, research, and outreach activities.
Experimental systems vary from natural population ecosystems to laboratory analysis of crops or model systems and long-term analysis of sustainable agroecosystems. A variety of experimental tools and methods are used including high throughput phenotyping and genotyping platforms, various ‘omics’ technologies, high resolution microscopy and imaging, and molecular diagnostic techniques.
The faculty design management strategies for diseases of Washington’s highly diverse agricultural and landscape plants, as well as those of many other regions of the world. The Department provides experiential educational and research opportunities to prepare the next generation of scientists and global citizens to resolve complex challenges of the 21st Century, and to provide a healthy and secure food supply while protecting our environment.