Rachel Herschlag

Rachel Herschlag

  • Ph.D. Student
  • Bull Lab

Areas of Expertise

  • Molecular detection of plant pathogens
  • Phytobacteriology


  • M.S., Plant Pathology, Louisiana State University
  • B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University

Research Interests

Pseudomonas syringae is a species complex of bacterial pathogens that includes the causal agents of bacterial leaf spot (BLS) on cucurbits, beet and chard. P. syringae can be seedborne, which allows for the pathogen to be introduced into new areas and spread across growing regions as infested seeds are sold and planted. One of the ways to prevent the spread of seedborne P. syringae is by developing detection methods so that the distribution of infested seeds can be prevented. My research aims to develop detection methods that not only confirm the presence of the pathogen, but determine which strain(s) of P. syringae are present. Additionally, I am interested in finding ways to distinguish between live and dead P. syringae cells on seeds. 


Hamidizade, M., Taghavi, S. M., Mafakheri, H., Herschlag, R. A., Martins, S., Hockett, K., ... & Osdaghi, E. (2021). First Report of Brown Spot on White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) Caused by Cedecea neteri in Iran. Plant Disease, (ja).

Herschlag, R., Okada, R., Alcalá-Briseño, R. I., de Souto, E. R., & Valverde, R. A. (2020). Identification of a novel endornavirus in Geranium carolinianum and occurrence within three agroecosystems, Virus Research, 288, 198116.

Hamidizade, M., Martins, S., Herschlag, R., Hockett, K; Bull, C. and Osdaghi, E. (2019) Bacterial Brown Pit, a New Disease of Edible Mushrooms Caused by Mycetocola sp. Plant Disease, 104(5), 1445-1454.

Herschlag, R., Escalante, C., de Souto, E.R., Khankhum, S., Okada, R. and Valverde, R.A. (2019) Occurrence of putative endornaviruses in non-cultivated plant species in South Louisiana. Archives of virology, 164(7). 1863-1868.

Herschlag, R. (2017) Occurrence of putative endornaviruses in non- cultivated plant species and characterization of a novel endornavirus in Geranium carolinianum. Master’s thesis. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Schenk, J., Herschlag, R., and Thomas, D. (2015) Describing a new species into a phylogenetic genus: taxonomic novelty in Ledermanniella s.l. (Podostemaceae) from Cameroon. Systematic Botany 40(2). 539-5

Grants and Awards

  • Penn State Distinguished Graduate Fellowship (2020)
  • Penn State University Graduate Fellowship (2020; declined for Distinguished Graduate Fellowship)
  • General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT) Microbiome Research Grant (2020)
  • Louisiana State University Vice President’s Ag Development Fellowship (2015)
  • CELT Grant for Summer Student Research (2014)
  • Newcomb College Institute Travel Grant (2014)
  • Newcomb College Institute Independent Study Grant (2014)