Plant Pathology News

New UMN research featured, including Professor Linda Kinkel, on the role plant-eating consumers (insects, rabbits, fungi, etc.) play in an ecosystem’s ability carry out key jobs like storing carbon and the role plants play in supporting these organisms and the others that depend on them. Read >>

Dean Malvick spoke on the IPM Podcast for Field Crops from Extension about the diseases that affected Minnesota's corn and soybean fields during 2018 and how growers can manage these in the future. Listen >>

On August 3, Jim Bradeen began a two-year appointment to the Council of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) as the Internal Communications Officer. As the Internal Communications Officer, Jim is charged with timely and transparent communications of APS priorities and Council activities with APS membership; promotion of APS priorities; and preparation and sharing of annual activities reports for APS Council, APS committees, and APS membership. Read more >>

Dr. Howard Louis Bissonnette (Extension Plant Pathologist and Emeritus Professor) passed away at age 91. Upon retirement from the department in 1989 he and Karwyn moved to Panama City, Florida however for many years they maintained a Minnesota lake cabin for their summer residence. He and Karwyn were active in Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Panama City. Howard was a member of the Knights of Columbus as a 4th degree Knight. After Karwyn’s unexpected passing in 2017, Howard moved to Clarkson, Michigan to be closer to his daughter Leeann’s family.

Howard L. Bissonnette was born on August 28, 1927 in Detroit Michigan. He served as a Navy transport pilot in the Pacific theater during World War Two. Following his Navy service he enrolled in the College of Saint Thomas, in St. Paul Minnesota, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Botany. He later enrolled in graduate studies in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota and obtained his M.S. degree in 1958, and his Ph.D. in 1964. Professor Thomas King was his advisor. Read more >>

Alan Pierce worked in the department as a scientist on the nematology project with Dr. David McDonald from 1974 through 1990. Alan passed away on July 27, 2018 in Austin, Texas. His humor and storytelling, as well as dedication to the mission of the department, were legendary. He will always be remembered fondly, which is his greatest legacy. Read more >>

The World Food Prize Foundation announced that Matthew Rouse, a U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Plant Pathologist, and Department of Plant Pathology Adjunct Associate Professor, is the winner of the 2018 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. The award recognizes exceptional, science-based achievements of individuals under the age of 40, who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Read more >>

It had been 45 years since the International Congress of Plant Pathology had been held in the United States. The meeting in 2018 in Boston with the annual APS meeting attracted over 2,400 people, about 1,000 more than usually attend an APS meeting. The University of Minnesota was well represented with 13 faculty, five graduate students, two staff members and two postdoctoral scientists attending. Learn more about departmental participation at the 2018 ICPP conference in this roundup. Read more >>

The IPM Podcast for Field Crops, sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program featured the Plant Disease Clinic in this episode. Director of the Plant Disease Clinic Brett Arenz discussed the clinic’s operations, sample preparation and disease diagnosis. Listen >>

Michelle Grabowski, Bob Blanchette and Nevin Young visited a rare and beautiful American chestnut tree in St. Anthony Park near the St. Paul Campus. While nearly all American chestnuts were wiped out by Cryphonectria parasitica, the fungus that causes chestnut blight, in the first half of the 20th Century, it seems the 20-30 years old tree has done comparatively well despite symptoms of blight. Read more >>

Recently Bob Blanchette was at the University of Florida for a Ph.D. dissertation defense and met with Jason Smith and Zane Grabau, two departmental alumni now on the faculty at the University of Florida. Read more >>