Plant Pathology January 2018 eNews


For the first time ever, scientists are gaining ground in the race against wheat stem rust, a pathogen that threatens global food security because of its ability to kill wheat. A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Rothamsted Research, the University of Minnesota and USDA have discovered the first rust virulence molecule that wheat plants detect to ‘switch on’ built-in resistance and stave off the disease. Departmental collaborators on this publication include: Feng LiBrian SteffensonYue JinMelania Figueroa, and Peter Dodds. Read more >>


We have had a busy year! We continue to focus on the ecology and evolutionary biology of plant microbiomes, and the development of novel strategies for enhancing plant health and productivity in cropping systems. Read more >>


Linda Kinkel shares her experience as an invited speaker at National Taiwan University in Taipei, National Chung-Hsing University in Taichung, and National Chiayi University in Chiayi. Kinkel, along with Jacque Fletcher from Oklahoma State University presented information on the Phytobiomes Initiative, as well as on their research, career paths, and other elements related to the initiative, including pathways to commercialization and science communication. Read more >>

Professor Emeritus Richard Zeyen was granted a 2017 University of Minnesota’s Alumni Association’s Service Award. It was presented to him by University President, Eric W. Kaler in a ceremony on October 19, 2017 at the Commons Hotel on the Minneapolis Campus. The award recognizes the service of a volunteer who has had a major impact on the University, its schools, colleges, departments, or faculty. Read more >>

Twelve grad students, faculty and staff got together and shared a meal then learned how to make and can applesauce. Grace Anderson a lifelong canner and preserver lead the way. (Many images that tell the whole story with faces, action and equipment). Next event will be Ben Held who will teach the art of sourdough bread making. Read more >>

Kira Bowen (Ph.D. 1983), Professor of Plant Pathology at Auburn University, was recently named a 2017 Outstanding Alumni by the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University. Also, Bowen was featured in this year's Aurora SporealisRead more >>

Deborah Samac and collaborators were awarded $250,00 from NIFA-Alfalfa and Forage Research program to investigate the epidemiology and genetic resistance in alfalfa to bacterial stem blight caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae. The grant will support a graduate student and undergraduate research. Students interested in the project should apply to the Plant Pathology graduate program. Read more >>

Ph.D. candidate Andrew Sathoff recently accepted a community faculty position at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. He will be teaching an introductory biology course and laboratory to a small class of 25 students. Also, this spring, he will be completing the Preparing Future Faculty Program through the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota. This program concludes with a teaching practicum, which he will fulfill at Hamline University under the guidance of Dr. Betsy Martinez-Vaz. Andrew will teach several class sessions in Dr. Martinez-Vaz’s microbiology course and observe faculty activities throughout the semester. Read more >>

Dr. Eugene B. Hayden Jr. (M.S., 1954; Ph.D., 1956) died on May 8th, 2017 in Venice, Florida. Gene was born on July 3, 1928 in Providence, Rhode Island and received his B.S. degree in Botany from Rhode Island University. He did his graduate work in Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota. He worked on stem rust disease of wheat under the direction of the iconic Professor Helen Hart. Read more >>