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Research Areas

Research focuses on understanding biological, chemical and environmental factors that affect disease development and pathogen movement at multiple scales– locally, regionally, and globally.

Research in this area aims to understand plant-microbe and plant-environment interactions associated with plant health and disease.

Microbial communities influence the sustainability of agricultural crops and natural ecosystems, food safety, and human health.

This area of research deals with the genomics, systematics and evolution of fungi, bacteria and viruses; evolution of pathogenicity and virulence; and development of web-based databases and tools that support comparative genomics, systematics, and education of fungi and the fungal-like oomycetes.

Research focuses on improving commercial mushroom production through disease control, and studying and manipulating microbial ecology and population dynamics during the composting process. The Penn State Mushroom Research Center (MRC) is one of the few research facilities in the world dedicated to mushroom research.

This research is focused on understanding the biotic, abiotic and environmental causes of plant diseases and on translating this knowledge into effective and practical disease management strategies.