María del Mar Jiménez Gasco, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Coordinator and Adviser of the Minor in Plant Pathology
María del Mar Jiménez Gasco, Ph.D.
309 Buckhout Lab (office)
402/403 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-2355
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Population biology
  • Ecology of plant-associated microorganisms
  • Fusarium and Verticillium wilts

Connect with María del Mar Jiménez Gasco, Ph.D.



  1. M.Eng. 1997. Agricultural Sciences, College of Agricultural Engineering, University of Cordoba, Spain
  2. Ph.D. 2001. Crop Protection, Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS-CSIC) and University of Cordoba, Spain

Areas of Interest

Population biology of plant pathogens; Evolution of pathogenicity and virulence; Ecology of plant-associated microorganisms; Endophytic interactions; Antifungal materials

Program Interests

I am fundamentally interested in the population-level processes that lead to the evolution of plant pathogenicity, virulence, and the emergence of fungicide and antibiotic resistance in microbial populations. In my lab we use molecular tools to study these processes within a population biology approach that connects population genetics and epidemiology. Research projects in my program currently focus on:

  • The ecological interactions between Fusarium oxysporum and plants, specifically non-pathogenic, endophytic interactions and their role in the emergence and evolution of plant pathogenicity. We are currently studying populations of F. oxysporum f.sp. cubense causing Panama disease of banana in Ecuador.

  • The dual role of Verticillium dahliae, pathogenic on certain plants and endophytic on others, and the implications on the biology, ecology, persistence, and spread of this plant pathogenic fungus in agroecosystems. We are currently studying the effect of rotations in the development of Verticillium wilt of potato.

  • The development of resistance to chemicals used for disease management in agroecosystems. We are specifically studying changes in bacterial populations of the pathogen Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni  causing bacterial leaf spot of peach in PA, as a result of repeated use of the antibiotic oxytetracycline.

Research Team

Recent Publications

Rafiei, V., Banihashemi, Z., Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., Navas-Cortés, J.A., Landa, B.B., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Turgeon, B.G., and Milgroom, M.G. 2017. Comparison of genotyping by sequencing and microsatellite markers for unravelling population structure in the clonal fungus Verticillium dahliae. Plant Pathology, in press (DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12713).

Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., Olivares-García, C., Trapero-Casas, J.L., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Navas-Cortés, J.A., Landa., B.B., and  Milgroom, M.G. 2017. Variation of pathotypes and races and their correlations with clonal lineages in Verticillium dahliae. Plant Pathology 66: 651–666.

Milgroom, M.G., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Olivares-García, C., and Jiménez-Díaz, R.M. 2016. Clonal expansion and migration of a highly virulent, defoliating lineage of Verticillium dahliae. Phytopathology 106: 1038-1046.

Demers, J.E. and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2016. Evolution of nine microsatellite loci in the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Journal of Molecular Evolution 82: 27-37.

Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., Castillo, P., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Landa., B.B., and Navas-Cortés, J.A. 2015. Fusarium wilt of chickpeas: Biology, ecology and management. Crop Protection 73:16-27.

Guo, L., Blatt, A.Z., Geiser, D.M., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., and Kuldau, G.A. 2015. Mating type and spore killing characterization of Fusarium verticillioides strains. Mycological Progress 14: 16.

Demers, J.E., Gugino, B.K., and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2015. Highly diverse endophytic and soil Fusarium oxysporum populations associated with field-grown tomato plants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81: 81-90.

Milgroom, M.G., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Olivares-Garcia, C., Drott, M.T., and Jiménez-Díaz, R.M. 2014. Recombination between clonal lineages of the asexual fungus Verticillium dahliae detected by Genotyping by Sequencing. PloS ONE 9(9): e106740.

Demers, J.E., Garzon, C.D., and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2014. Striking genetic similarity between races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris confirms a monophyletic origin and clonal evolution of the chickpea vascular wilt pathogen. European Journal of Plant Pathology 139: 303-318.

Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Malcolm, G.M., Berbegal, M., Armengol, J., and Jiménez-Díaz, R.M. 2014. Complex molecular relationship between Vegetative Compatibility Groups in Verticillium dahliae: VCGs do not always align with clonal lineages. Phytopathology 104: 650-659.

Testen, A. L., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Ochoa, J. B., and Backman, P.A. 2014. Molecular detection of Peronospora variabilis in quinoa seeds and phylogeny of the quinoa downy mildew pathogen in South America and the United States. Phytopathology 104: 379-386.

Kang, S., Demers, J., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., and Rep, M. 2014. Fusarium oxysporum. Chapter 5 in “Genomics of Plant-Associated Fungi and Oomycetes: Dicot Pathogens”. R. A. Dean, A. Lichens-Park, and K. Chittaranjan (Eds.). Pages 99-120. ISBN: 978-3-662-44055-1. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Malcolm, G.M., Kuldau, G.A., Gugino, B.K., and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2013. LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hidden host plant associations of soilborne fungal pathogens: An ecological perspective. Phytopathology 103: 538-544.

Elmer, W.H., Useman, S., Schneider, R.W., Marra, R.E., LaMondia, J.A., Mendelssohn, I.A., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., and Caruso, F.L. 2013. FEATURE: Sudden Vegetation Dieback in Atlantic and Gulf Coast Salt Marshes. Plant Disease 97: 436-445.

Remesal, E., Landa, B.B., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. and Navas-Cortes, J.A. 2013. Sequence variation of protein-coding genes as a diagnostic tool for the identification of Mycelial Compatibility Groups in Sclerotium rolfsii. Phytopathology 103: 479-487.

Geiser, D.M. Aoki, T., Bacon, C.W., Baker, S.E., Bhattacharayya, M.B., Brandt, M., Burgess, L.W., Chulze, S., Coleman, J.J., Correll, J.C., Covert, S.F., Crous, P.W., Cuomo, C.A., de Hoog, G.S., Di Pietro, A., Elmer, W.H., Epstein, L., Frandsen, R.J.N., Freeman, S., Gagkaeva, T., Glenn, A.E., Gordon, T.R., Gregory, N.F., Hammond-Kosack, K.E., Hanson, L.E., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Kang, S., Kistler, H.C., Kuldau, G.A., Leslie, J.F., Logrieco, A., Lu, G., Lysøe, E., Ma, L., McCormick, S.P., Migheli, Q., Moretti, A., Munaut, F., O'Donnell, K., Pfenning, L.H., Ploetz, R.C., Proctor, R.H., Rehner, S.A., Robert, V.A.R.G., Rooney, A.P., Salleh, B., Scandiani, M.M., Scauflaire, J., Short, D.P.G., Steenkamp, E.T., Suga, H., Summerell, B.A., Sutton, D.A., Thrane, U., Trail, F., van Diepeningen, A., VanEtten, H.D., Viljoen, A., Waalwijk, C., Ward, T.J., Wingfield, M.J., Xu, J., Yang, X., Yli-Mattila, T., and Zhang, N. 2013. LETTER TO THE EDITOR: One Fungus, One Name: Defining the genus Fusarium in a scientifically robust way that preserves longstanding use. Phytopathology 103: 400-408.

Amyotte, S.G., Tan, X., Pennerman, K., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Klosterman, S.J., Ma, L.-J., Dobinson, K.F., and Veronese, P. 2012. Transposable elements in phytopathogenic Verticillium spp.: insights into genome evolution and inter- and intra-specific diversification. BMC Genomics 13: 314.

Jimenez-Díaz, R.M. Cirulli, M., Bubici, G., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Antoniou, P.P. and Tjamos, E.C. 2012. FEATURE: Verticillium Wilt: A Major Threat to Olive Production. Current Status and Future Prospects for its Management. Plant Disease 96: 304-329.

Geib, S.M., Scully, E.D., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Carlson, J.E., Tien, M., and Hoover, K. 2012. Phylogenetic analysis of Fusarium solani associated with the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis. Insects 3: 141-160. [Special Issue, Symbiosis: A Source of Evolutionary Innovation in Insects].

Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., Landa, B.B., Castillo, P. and Navas-Cortés, J.A. 2011. Fusarium Wilt of Chickpea. Pages 16-20 in “Compendium of Chickpea and Lentil Diseases and Pests”. W. Chen, H. Sharma, and F.J. Muehlbauer (Eds.). The American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, MN.

Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2011. Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt Diseases. Chapter 7 in “Control of Fusarium Wilt Diseases”. Fernando M. Alves-Santos y Julio J. Díez (Eds.). Pages 159-194. ISBN: 978-81-7895-460-8. Research Signpost. Kerala. India.

Garzón, C.D., Molineros, J.E., Yánez, J.M., Flores, F.J., Jimenez-Gasco, M.M., and Moorman, G.W. 2011. Sublethal doses of mefenoxam enhance Pythium damping-off of geranium. Plant Disease 95: 1233-1238.

Berbegal, M., Garzón, C., Ortega, A., Armengol, J., Jiménez-Díaz, R.M. and Jiménez-Gasco, M.M. 2011. Development and application of new molecular markers for analysis of genetic diversity in Verticillium dahliae populations. Plant Pathology 60: 866-877.

Jiménez-Díaz, R.M., Olivares-García, C., Landa, B.B., Jiménez-Gasco, M.M., and Navas-Cortés, J.A. 2011. Region-wide analysis of genetic diversity in Verticillium dahliae populations infecting olive in Andalusia and agricultural factors influencing the distribution and prevalence of vegetative compatibility groups and pathotypes. Phytopathology 101:304-315.


INTAD 820 International Agriculture and Development
PPATH 505 Fundamentals of Phytopathology
PPEM 120 The Fungal Jungle: A Mycological Safari from Truffles to Slime Molds

Co-taught with Dr. Gretchen Kuldau