Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Dr. Joey Hulbert and Dr. Kylie Swisher-Grimm

April 17, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“Citizen science can enhance biosecurity surveillance: opportunities for plant disease monitoring and research at WSU”
Dr. Joey Hulbert, post-doctorial researcher with Dr. Gary Chastagner. 


Citizen science is an approach to research that benefits society through both research and participation outcomes. While limited in its application, there is enormous potential to engage the public more directly in plant disease research. In addition to the value of citizen science initiatives for early detection and monitoring, they also contribute widely to raising awareness, informing decisions to reduce pathogen spread, and finding resistant plant material for restoration of landscapes degraded by disease. The aim of this seminar is to provide an overview of the merit of citizen science for biosecurity surveillance, highlight ongoing and upcoming projects and findings within the WSU Department of Plant Pathology, and discuss possible applications for engaging the public in more collaborative plant disease research projects at WSU.


Hulbert, J. M., Hallett, R. A., Roy, H. E., and Cleary, M. (2023). Citizen science can enhance strategies to detect and manage invasive forest pests and pathogens. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2023.1113978

For more information regarding Dr. Hulbert’s seminar, please see the seminar announcement.


“Potato mop-top virus: Impact of seedborne virus infection and the search for resistant germplasm”
Dr. Kylie Swisher-Grimm, USDA-ARS

Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) is a tuber necrotic virus transmitted by the Spongospora subterranea pathogen that causes powdery scab blemishes on tuber surfaces. Tuber defects caused by both pathogens can lead to severe economic losses for growers; the asymptomatic detection of PMTV has even negatively impacted foreign trade from the United States. For the past seven years, we have assessed the presence of PMTV entering Washington State commercial potato fields by testing seed lots submitted to the WSU Seed Lot Trial. We detected PMTV in the seed lots each year, ranging from 1.73 – 5.50%. Infected lots originated from across the U.S. and from Canada, and consisted of 23 different cultivars, indicating that virus infection is not limited to specific regions or seed producers. To assess the risk of planting this PMTV-infected seed in vector-free soil, we conducted transmission assays that determined the effect of PMTV on daughter tuber yield, symptom development and virus expression. The presence of PMTV (and not the presence of symptoms) in the seed piece led to increased PMTV detection in daughter tubers but did not have a significant effect on daughter tuber symptom development. Unfortunately, reliable tools to manage PMTV and S. subterranea are not readily available to growers, and as a result, the best management solution for these pathogens is the generation of resistant cultivars. We have designed and validated a greenhouse screen to identify PMTV- and/or S. subterranea-resistant plants, identifying potential sources of resistance in wild potato accessions originating from three different taxon. Validation of these results is underway and will not only aid potato breeders in generating PMTV/S. subterranea-resistant cultivars but will also help with the identification of resistance markers to assist in the selection of resistant material. These efforts will ultimately benefit the commercial potato grower by providing them with improved management options for PMTV and S. subterranea.


For more information on Dr. Swisher-Grimm’s seminar please see the seminar announcement.


April 17, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: