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2014

Dr. Yinong Yang Visits Simplot Company and Presents an Invited Seminar
December 12, 2014
Dr. Yinong Yang visited the J. R. Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho, Nov. 11-13, 2014, and presented an invited seminar titled “Genome Editing Technology to Breed Non-Transgenic, Genetically Improved Crops.”
Congratulations to Sara Klee
November 21, 2014
Sara Klee, Ph.D. student in the McNellis lab, won first place in a student poster competition at the 2014 meeting of the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College. The title of her poster was “Using Fluorescent Labeling to Gain Insight into Fire Blight Disease Development.”
Professor Emeritus Dr. Leon Kneebone Recalls Service Helping Liberate the Philippines
November 11, 2014
This Veteran's Day The Centre Daily Times features a remarkable interview with Dr. Leon Kneebone, Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, as he relates some of his World War II memories.
The Used Car Salesman Came Out on Top
October 31, 2014
This year’s Halloween Celebration was definitely a success!
Congratulations to Grace O'Keefe for Successfully Defending Ph.D. Thesis
October 13, 2014
Grace O’Keefe, Ph.D. candidate in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Donald D. Davis, successfully defended her thesis on October 9, 2014. “An American Perspective of Chrysanthemum White Rust Caused by Puccinia horian” is Grace’s thesis title. Big congratulations and best wishes to Grace.
Dr. Frederick E. Gildow Honored for 31 Years of Service to the Department
October 12, 2014
Dr. Gildow was recognized for his leadership, friendship, and mentorship at a picnic held on October 4, 2014. Despite the cold weather, more than 80 friends, colleagues, and students gathered to recognize and celebrate his career.
Three PPEM Members Participate in the USCCN Meeting at UC-Davis
October 11, 2014
The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN) met at UC-Davis (UCD) on September 24-25, 2014 to strengthen ties between microbial culture collections and microbial genomics.
Dr. Yinong Yang and Dr. Seogchan Kang Attend First Fudan University-Penn State Joint Conference
October 10, 2014
Drs. Yang and Kang, along with four other Penn State faculty members, visited Fudan University in Shanghai, China, for two days (September 18-19, 2014) to develop collaborative research projects and increase student exchange.
Dr. Gary Moorman Coedits First-of-Its-Kind Book on Irrigation Water Pathogens and Their Management
October 9, 2014
This book provides comprehensive biological information on the many pathogens found in irrigation water, as well as the practical information needed to detect and manage these pathogens.
McNellis Lab Findings Shed Light on Nutritional Requirements of Erwinia amylovora and Lead to Novel Biotechnological Tool
September 19, 2014
Graduate student Laura Ramos-Sepulveda is the first author of a paper to be published in the November issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Yang Lab Provides Novel Insight into How Plants Regulate Biotic and Abiotic Stress Resistance
September 15, 2014
The laboratory of Dr. Yinong Yang recently published a research paper titled “Direct Phosphorylation and Activation of a Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase by a Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase in Rice” in Plant Cell, a top journal in plant science.
Dr. Yinong Yang Invited to Speak at 2014 ASPB Annual Meeting in Portland, OR
September 15, 2014
Dr. Yinong Yang presented a talk titled “Targeted Mutation and Precise Genome Editing in Plants with CRISPR/Cas9 System” at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists held July 12-16, 2014, in Portland, Oregon.
In Memory of Dr. Kenneth D. Hickey
September 5, 2014
Dr. Ken Hickey, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Penn State, passed away on Thursday, September 4, 2014, at age 81.
Dr. David Geiser Assumes Role of Interim Department Head
August 21, 2014
With the upcoming retirement of Dr. Fred Gildow, Dr. Geiser has assumed the role of Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology on an interim basis.
Plant Pathology Hires New Graduate Program Support Assistant
August 18, 2014
The Department of Plant Pathology welcomes Kathy Zimmerman in her new position as the Department's Graduate Program Support Assistant.
Dr. Seogchan Kang Gives Plenary Lecture During 16th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
August 7, 2014
Dr. Kang attended the 16th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions in Rhodes, Greece, July 6-10, 2014, and gave a talk titled “Hidden Roles of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Fungal Niche Adaptation and Plant Biology.” Approximately 1,200 from 55 countries attended this meeting and presented more than 700 posters. A diverse array of talks in plenary and concurrent sessions highlighted the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field.
Congratulations to Ningxiao Li
August 6, 2014
Ningxiao received a $2,500 fellowship from the Center for Environmental geoChemistry and Genomics (CECG). She is a student in the Plant Biology program working on fungal volatile effect on plant growth and stress resistance with Dr. Seogchan Kang. Through this fellowship program, the CECG supports student research in areas ranging across the biological and agricultural sciences, engineering, and earth and mineral sciences. Congratulations to Ningxiao on this achievement!
Laura Ramos-Sepulveda and Vasileios Bitas Successfully Complete Ph.D. Thesis Defense
August 6, 2014
Laura Ramos-Sepulveda and Vasileios Bitas, Ph.D. Candidates in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Tim McNellis and Dr. Seogchan Kang, respectively, successfully completed their Ph.D. thesis defense.
Preparing for Success Post-Postdoc
July 23, 2014
On June 11 & 12, 2014, a group of 22 postdocs, including Jung-Eun Kim and Paolo Margaria, representing seven departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences met to discuss their future as academic leaders and ways to achieve their personal goals at a Postdoc Leadership Development Program, the first of its kind hosted by Penn State.
Kari Peter and Sarah Bardsley featured in American Fruit Grower Magazine/Online
July 3, 2014
Kari Peter shares work published in June 2014 American Fruit Grower magazine and online.
Carla Lanze attends 2014 Oomycete Bioinformatics Training Workshop at Virginia Tech
June 9, 2014
A USDA travel award from the Oomycete Molecular Genetics Research Collaboration Network enabled Carla to attend this workshop, held on June 3rd-5th. The workshop featured presentations on methods of genome sequencing and gene prediction and centered on teaching the attendees how to utilize the web tools FungiDB and Pathogen Portal to analyze genomic data.
Marilyn Roossinck awarded 2014-15 College of Agricultural Sciences Mini-Teaching Sabbatical Grant
June 6, 2014
This is the first year for this grant program to support improving the curriculum and educational programming. Marilyn will be using the grant to support travel to study undergraduate Environmental Microbiology (EM) programs already in place at three other Universities. This should provide a lot of information about EM program organization and student experiences for use in developing a minor in EM.
Fungus may help stop invasive spread of tree-of-heaven
May 8, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A naturally occurring fungus might help curb the spread of an invasive tree species that is threatening forests in most of the United States, according to researchers.
Plant Pathology Association volunteers at Ag Day
April 30, 2014
Every April, the Plant Pathology Association (PPA) volunteers at the College of Agriculture Science’s Ag Day. Located in the HUB, the PPA displayed posters on educational opportunities for undergraduates as well as on the Plant Disease Clinic, passed out brochures on Pennsylvania mushroom production and the diseases threatening Penn State’s historic elm trees, and taught Penn State students and State College community members about plant pathology through interactive games.
Herb Cole receives Rose Cologne Award
April 21, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Herb Cole, professor emeritus in Plant Pathology, who received this award for his many years of continued effort, volunteering, and advocating in the community for Penn State Extension.
Eric O'Neal Places Third in the 2014 Graduate Research Exhibition
April 10, 2014
Congratulations to Eric O'Neal for placing third in the Health & Life Sciences Competition with his poster titled "Intraspecific root grafting and clonal growth in Ailanthus altissima and their role in transmission of Verticillium nonalfalfae." There were 64 poster presentations in the Health & Life Sciences category. Eric is working on his M.S. degree with Dr. Don Davis.
PPEM students recoginized during 2014 Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo
April 6, 2014
Congratulations to Emily Pfeufer who received the Paul Hand Award for Graduate Student Teaching Achievement from the College of Agricultural Sciences. Eric O’Neal (2nd place in the Biological Sciences Division) and to Hunter Swisher (2nd place in the Undergraduate Plant Related Systems Division) presented award winning posters. The awards for Emily and Eric were presented by Dr. Gary Thompson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 21. The award for Hunter was presented by Dr. Tracy Hoover, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.
PPEM represented at 2014 Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo
April 6, 2014
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology graduate students, undergraduate students, and advisors, contribute to the success of the 2014 Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo, which was held on March 19, 2014.
Penn State’s online homeland security degrees celebrate fifth anniversary
April 4, 2014
Dr. Gretchen Kuldau is the Coordinator for the iMPS in Homeland Security: Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option.
Dr. Carolee Bull presents mentoring workshop
April 1, 2014
On March 25, 2014 the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology hosted a professional development workshop titled “How to Be Your Own Best Mentor.”
Dr. Gary Moorman selected as 2014 APS Fellow
March 26, 2014
This is the highest honor given to American Phytopathological Society (APS) members in recognition of meritorious contributions to the discipline of plant pathology. Moorman will be named a Fellow at the national meeting in August 2014 in St. Paul, Minnesota, recognizing his more than 30 years of service to the profession.
Managing Bacterial Diseases in Onions
March 12, 2014
Sweet onion production has soared in Pennsylvania in recent years and bacterial disease challenges have grown right along with production. Steve Bogash provided interview-type questions to Emily Pfeufer, Ph.D. candidate working with Beth Gugino, Vegetable Pathologist due to her four years of research into sweet onion bacterial diseases.
PPA student fundraiser
March 11, 2014
The Plant Pathology Association (PPA) is holding a polo shirt fundraiser!
Freddy Magdama, PhD Candidate, receives Graduate International Research Competitive Grant
February 26, 2014
Congratulations to Freddy Magdama, PhD Candidate in Plant Pathology and graduate student in the International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) duel-title degree program, for being awarded a Graduate International Research Competitive Grant through the College of Agricultural Sciences' Office of International Programs.
Tree fruit projects receive grant support from the State Horticultural Society of Pennsylvania (SHAP)
February 26, 2014
Congratulations to Drs. Timothy McNellis, Maria del Mar Jimenez-Gasco, and Kari Peter, and also to Sarah Bardsley (PhD Candidate in Plant Pathology) who were among the faculty and students who competed for, and received, grants following proposal presentations and reviews on Thursday, February 20, at the Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville, PA.
Preventing storage rots: What you find at packing time started in orchards at harvest
February 25, 2014
Those rotten apples you find in bins of fruit as you pull them from storage for packing and sale had their genesis several months ago, when you picked those apples and put them into storage.
Graduate Student Recruitment Weekend
February 25, 2014
On February 7, 2014, the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology hosted five prospective Plant Pathology graduate students for interviews.
Assistantship in Virology Lab Available for Fall 2014
January 21, 2014
Sara May recently appointed to the Governor's Invasive Species Council
January 6, 2014
Sara is the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology's Plant Disease Clinic supervisor and the Director of the new Plant Health Resource Center, a joint effort of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.