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Travel Award Provides Opportunity to Learn More About Phytophthora infestans

Posted: March 4, 2013

Thanks to donations from current and past Department alumni, an endowment was established for the enhancement of graduate student education. The latest recipient received a travel award to visit the lab of Dr. Bill Fry at Cornell University.
Ilse A. Huerta Arredondo working in the lab of Dr. Bill Fry at Cornell University.

Ilse A. Huerta Arredondo working in the lab of Dr. Bill Fry at Cornell University.

From 12 to 14 February, Ilse A. Huerta Arredondo visited the Lab of Dr. Bill Fry at Cornell. This visit was supported by a travel award provided by the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. Dr. Bill Fry and his team work extensively with oomycete pathogens, including the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. The objective of her visit was to gain hands-on experience conducting the protocols used to genotype P. infestans clonal lineages. These included: RG57 fingerprinting, GPI patterns, mitochondrial DNA haplotype assays, and microsatellite markers (SSR). For known clonal lineages, the later technique facilitates the processing of field samples within 24 hours thus enabling growers to make decisions about the use of mefenoxam to manage the disease.

In addition to gaining experience with specific protocols, Ilse had the opportunity to interact with other members of the Fry lab and learn more about pathogen biology, culture maintenance, management and their ongoing investigations with P. infestans. Everyone was very open and helpful in sharing their thoughts and experiences with this challenging pathogen. On the last day of her visit she presented information about Penn State, the PPEM Department and shared the goals of her M.S. research on P. infestans. She is very grateful to have had this learning experience which will ultimately enhance her research at Penn State.

For more information on current endowments and stewardship opportunities please visit the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology webpage.