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Fall 2018 Seminar Series: Dr. Christopher Clarke

Posted: December 5, 2018

Dr. Christopher Clarke, research plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), concluded the Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Fall 2018 Seminar Series on Monday.
Dr. Xinshun Qu, left, poses with guest speaker Dr. Christopher Clarke. Dr. Clarke’s presentation concluded the PPEM Fall 2018 Seminar Series. IMAGE: NANCY WENNER, PENN STATE

Dr. Xinshun Qu, left, poses with guest speaker Dr. Christopher Clarke. Dr. Clarke’s presentation concluded the PPEM Fall 2018 Seminar Series. IMAGE: NANCY WENNER, PENN STATE

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Dr. Christopher Clarke, research plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), concluded the Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Fall 2018 Seminar Series on Monday with his presentation entitled, “The diversity of Streptomyces bacteria in potato production: from potential biocontrol strains to the causative agents of common scab disease.” Dr. Clarke’s presentation highlighted the complexities of common scab disease of potato and the casual pathogens, as well as the challenges to researchers.

“Chris is an insightful and energetic plant pathologist,” said Dr. Xinshun Qu, associate research professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. “Common scab is a soilborne disease and there are a lot of questions about the disease that are so hard to answer. Chris’ thought-provoking ideas open up new areas of research to these questions.” 

Students, postdocs and faculty had the opportunity to discuss research interests and collaboration opportunities with Dr. Clarke during his visit. In addition to his presentation and visiting the department, Dr. Clarke also visited the Penn State Russel E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs.

USDA-ARS Beltsville and Penn State have a long and productive history of collaboration on potato disease dynamics. The department continues to collaborate and develop effective strategies to manage potato diseases.