Plant Pathology March 2018 eNews


Director of the Plant Disease Clinic Brett Arenz provides instructions on how you can select a high-quality sample for testing, and also how you can mail a sample to the Plant Disease Clinic. Watch >>

In the race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence. Learn more about this recently published research in mBio, a journal by the American Society for Microbiology. Read more >>


The Mycotoxin Diagnostic Laboratory has been funded by the Minnesota Small Grain Initiative (SGI) since 1994 and is one of four DON (deoxynivalenol) testing laboratories supported by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI). We provide mycotoxin analyses, especially DON, 15-Acetyl-DON (15-ADON), 3-Acetyl-DON (3-ADON) and nivalenol (NIV), for Fusarium Head Blight research projects, and can also help local growers assess mycotoxin contamination on their crops when needed. Read more >>

The Soybean Pathology project focuses on managing diseases of soybean found in Minnesota. Minnesota agriculture is increasingly dependent on the productivity of two crops, corn and soybean. Together these two crops are planted on more than half of the cropping area of Minnesota. With essentially two crops grown on large areas, the disease management benefits of crop rotation are no longer available. In some instances diseases such as diseases caused by Pythium species, the pathogen infects both crops limiting plant stands and crop yields of both corn and soybean. Sudden Death Syndrome a pathogen of soybean proliferates on corn residues and infects corn plants without affecting corn yields. Fusarium root rots, particularly root rot caused by Fusarium graminearum causes both stalk rot of corn and seed and seedling rot of soybeans. Because of the limited disease management options available to farmers, I’ve emphasized identification of resistance, phenotyping for resistance, as the emphasis of research conducted on my Soybean Pathology project. Read more >>


Alumna Mag McDermott (M.S. 2016) has joined the University of Arizona as a senior research specialist in the Valley Fever Center for Excellence.  Read more >>

In January of this year, Ruth Dill-Macky stepped into a new leadership role as the researcher co-chair of the United States Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (USWBSI). Dill-Macky takes over this role from David Van Sanford (University of Kentucky) who served as the researcher co-chair of the USWBSI for over a decade. Dill-Macky has been part of USWBSI since its inception and on the executive committee since 2000. Read more >>

Linda Kinkel traveled to Uruguay in February to work on collaborative research focusing on soil health in agricultural production systems with plant pathology alumni Nora Altier, Patricia Vaz-Jauri, and Carlos Perez.  Read more >>