Drs. Scott Bates and Linda Kinkel have been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship through the MNDrive Initiative: Advancing Industry, Conserving our Environment. They will investigate the use of microbiological inocula as a means of protecting critical Minnesota potato crops from disease.
Linda Kinkel, Professor of Plant Pathology, along with about two dozen other American Academy of Microbiology fellows, recently published a report titled “How Microbes Can Help Feed the World”. The report is a result of a two-day colloquium held in 2012 which examined “how plant microbe interactions could be employed to boost agricultural productivity in an environmentally and economically responsible way”.
A new project in the department funded by the Minnesota Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (proceeds from the MN lottery fund) investigating the plethora of unusual fungi growing in the Soudan mine located near Ely, Minnesota. The iron ore mine, built in 1880, has 27 levels that extend miles down into the earth.
Nick LeBlanc, president of the plant pathology graduate students from 2012-2013, organized a retreat for the students to Itasca State Park on October 18-20. The trip started with a four hour drive from campus to the UMN’s biological research station in Itasca State park. After settling in at the cabin there was time for a brief mushroom foray in drizzly weather before cooking pizza for dinner. Saturday yielded another overcast day, but several students went on a morning hike while others worked on coursework. That afternoon the group hiked to the Mississippi headwaters and around the shores of lake Itasca.
Dinner was freshly obtained oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) and puffballs (Lycoperdon sp.) cooked in butter with spaghetti. That evening yielded hilarious game of telephone pictionary along with a night walk through the woods while snow was falling. The group awoke Sunday morning to a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground, but that didn’t stop a brave group of students from hiking to Lake Itasca and going for a morning swim. After breakfast the group cleaned up and headed back to St. Paul reinvigorated for the fall semester. Due to the success of this event the graduate students hope to make this an annual tradition.
The Department of Plant Pathology in collaboration with the CFANS Office of International Programs was proud to host Professor Prasanna Boddupalli, Director of the CIMMYT Global Maize Program, on the St. Paul campus on October 29, 2013. A breakfast in his honor was held in the Department and was attended by Associate Vice President and Dean of International Programs Meredith McQuaid, CFANS Interim Dean Brian Buhr, and faculty from several departments. Afterwards Professor Boddupalli presented a rousing seminar entitled "A Global Overview of the challenges and Solutions to Increasing the Productivity and Sustainability of Maize-Based Systems throughout the Developing World" to a rapt audience. Professor Boddupalli highlighted the urgent need to increase maize productivity in Africa to feed a hungry population. During his seminar, Professor Boddupalli repeatedly referred to the important Gates Foundation-funded research that Professor Ben Lockhart is pursuing to understand and manage Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) in Kenya.
To view the lecture "On Global Food Systems and Related Policy Challenges" given by Dr. Pinstrup-Anderson as part of the Borlaug Memorial Lecture on October 14, 2013, click here.
Plant Pathology graduate student Daniel Schlatter successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on Thursday, October 3, 2013. The title of his thesis presentation was "Global Biogeography and Local Adaptation of Streptomyces" and his advisor was Linda Kinkel.
The Department of Plant Pathology faculty and staff took on the graduate students in the 39th annual E.C. Stakman softball game on September 11, 2013. The faculty/staff team came from behind in the last inning to triumph over the grad students with a final score of 5-4. The game was followed by a picnic on the Borlaug 3rd floor patio.
Event: PlPa 8200 Seminar
Title: "Are pathogens drivers of plant speciation? Thoughts and ideas on disease pressures, genome structures, and phenotypic adaptation."
Speaker: James Bradeen, Professor & Head, Department of Plant Pathology
Date: Monday, December 9th
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: 365 Borlaug Hall
Survivors on Elm Street | by Sara Specht | CFANS Solutions
"It does look like there is resistance out there," says Department of Plant Pathology professor Robert Blanchette. "We don't have too many trees to study, but there are a few and we'll find more with this project. These trees are selected for testing because they survive where most elms die. Not all of them survive inoculation but a few of them are looking very good."