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Timothy Paulitz

Research Plant Pathologist,
USDA-ARS/ Adjunct Professor

Timothy Paulitz
Office: Johnson Hall 363
Lab: 324 Vogel PBS

Tel.: (509)335-7077
Fax: (509)335-9581

Research Specialty and Interests

My program focuses on the ecology, epidemiology, and management of root diseases in cereal-based cropping systems, including wheat, barley and Brassica

Current projects:

  • Disease dynamics in the transition from conventional tillage to direct-seeding
  • Survey and biogeography of Pythium and Rhizoctonia in eastern Washington
  • Molecular detection and quantification of Pythium and Rhizoctonia from soil using real time PCR and ITS sequences
  • Population biology and structure of Rhizoctonia in eastern Washington, using AFLP markers.
  • Spatial analysis of Rhizoctonia oryzae in direct-seed systems, at scales of 0.3 m to 100 m, using GPS referenced locations.
  • Cultural techniques for management of root diseases, including seed opener disturbance, residue management, fallow, variable N application, and greenbridge management.
  • Population dynamics of Rhizoctonia in chemical and mechanical fallow
  • Testing of chemical seed treatments for Rhizoctonia control.
  • Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1 on Brassica crops
  • Dynamics of Rhizoctonia bare patches in direct-seed rotations
  • Development of methods to screen germplasm for tolerance and resistance to Rhizoctonia and Pythium

Professional Experience

  • Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS Root Disease and Biological Control Research Unit, Pullman, WA.  June 2000-present.
  • Associate Professor, Dept. Plant Science, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada, June 1994-June 2000.
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. Plant Science, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada, Dec. 1989-April 1994.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS Horticultural Research Laboratory, Sept. 1987- Nov. 1989.
  • Visiting assistant professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Science, Sept. 1984-Sept. 1987.


American Phytopathological Society (APS)
Canadian Phytopathological Society
Mycological Society of America

Selected Publications

  • Paulitz, T. C., Smiley, R. and Cook, R. J. 2002. Insights into the prevalence and management of soilborne cereal pathogens under direct seeding in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. Can. J. Plant Pathol. 24: 416-428.
  • Smiley, R., Cook, R. J. and Paulitz, T. 2002. Seed treatments for small grain cereals.  Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 8797.
  • Smiley, R., Cook, R. J. and Paulitz, T.  2002. Controlling root and crown diseases of small grain cereals.  Oregon State University Extension Publication EM 8799.
  • Paulitz, T. C. 2002.  First report of Rhizoctonia oryzae on pea. Plant Disease 86: 442.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Adams, K., and Mazzola, M. 2003. Pythium abappressorium- a new species from eastern Washington. Mycologia 95: 80-86.
  • Paulitz, T. C. and Adams, K. 2003 Composition and distribution of Pythium communities from wheat fields in eastern Washington State.  Phytopathology. 93: 867-873.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Smith, J. D. and Kidwell, K. K. 2003. Virulence of Rhizoctonia oryzae on wheat and barley cultivars from the Pacific Northwest. Plant Disease 87:51-55.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Zhang, H. and Cook, R. J. 2003. Spatial distribution of Rhizoctonia oryzae and Rhizoctonia root rot in direct-seeded cereals.  Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 29: 295-303.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Dugan, F., Chen, W., and Grünwald, N. J. 2004.  First report of Pythium irregulare on lentils in the United States.  Plant Disease 88: 310.
  • Higginbotham, R. W., Paulitz, T. C., Campbell, K. G. and Kidwell, K. K. 2004. Evaluation of adapted wheat cultivars for tolerance to Pythium root rot. Plant Disease 88:1027-1032.
  • Higginbotham, R. W., Paulitz, T. C., and Kidwell, K. K. 2004. Virulence of Pythium species isolated from wheat fields in eastern Washington. Plant Disease 88:1021-1026.
  • Paulitz, T. C. and Schroeder, K. L.  2005.  A new method for quantification of Rhizoctonia solani and R. oryzae from soil.  Plant Disease 89: 767-772.
  • Okubara, P. A., Schroeder, K. L., and Paulitz, T. C.  2005.  Real-time polymerase chain reaction: Applications to studies on soilborne pathogens. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 27: 1-14.
  • Okubara, P. A. and Paulitz, T. C.  2005. Molecular bases of root defense responses.  Plant and Soil 274: 221-232.
  • Schillinger, W. C. and Paulitz, T. C.  2006.  Reduction of Rhizoctonia bare patch of wheat with barley rotation. Plant Disease 90:302-306
  • Schroeder, K. L. and Paulitz, T. C.  2006. Assessment of root diseases on wheat and barley in the transition from conventional tillage to direct seeding.  Plant Disease: in press
  • Feng, P. C., Baley, G. J., Clinton, W. P, Bunkers, G. J., Alabhai, M F., Paulitz, T. C. and Kidwell, K. K.  2005. Glyphosate inhibits rust diseases in glyphosate-resistant wheat and soybean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102: 17290-17295.
  • Paulitz, T. C., Okubara, P. A. and Schillinger, W. F. 2006. First report of damping-off of canola caused by Rhizoctonia solani AG 2-1 in Washington State. Plant Disease 90:829.
  • Schroeder, K. L., Okubara, P. A., Tambong,  J. T., Lévesque, C. A. and Paulitz, T. C.  2006. Identification and quantification of pathogenic Pythium spp. from soils in eastern Washington using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Phytopathology 96:637-647.

Professional Activities

2004-present; Senior Editor, American Phytopathogical Society Press

2003-present; Patent Committee, USDA-ARS Pacific Region

2002-present; Member, W-147 Biological Control of Soilborne Pathogens

1999-2002; Member of U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative Review Panel

2001-present; Section Editor, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology

1998-2002; Section Editor, Plant and Soil

1994-1997; Senior Editor, Phytopathology

1991-1994; Associate Editor, Phytopathology

1998-2000; Junior and Senior Director, Board of the Canadian Phytopathological Society.