Latest News

March 18, 2019

Sara Klee, doctoral student in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and USDA NIFA Predoctoral Fellow, has been selected as a recipient of the 2019 College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Graduate students Melissa Mercado, left, and Elisa Lauritzen pose for a photo at the 2019 PA Farm Show. IMAGE: PENN STATE
February 28, 2019

The 103 PA Farm Show took place on January 5 – 12 and was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Members from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, along with other members of the College of Agricultural Sciences and members of the Mushrooms Framers of Pennsylvania (MFPA) volunteered at the event.

An international team of crop-health scientists, including a Penn State researcher, studied the effect of pests and pathogens on wheat, rice, maize, soybean and potato. IMAGE: PIXABAY
February 27, 2019

Pests and diseases are taking a substantial bite out of the world’s five major food crops — in some cases, up to 40 percent — according to a recently released publication, one of the first to inventory the impact on a global scale.

A doctoral student in plant pathology, Terry Torres-Cruz has an interest in fungi and works with David Geiser, professor of mycology, in Penn State's Fusarium Research Center. IMAGE: PENN STATE
February 7, 2019

Students and faculty members from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently attended the National Diversity in STEM Conference.

January 30, 2019

When Tomas Lowenstein of Agricola La Reina, a mushroom farm in Miranda, Venezuela, needs spawn, or "seed," to grow his crops, his chosen point of contact isn't around the corner or even in the country. It's more than 2,200 miles away in a laboratory on Penn State's University Park campus.

Characteristic angular spots caused by downy mildew on cucumber, as the disease progresses the leaves shrivel and curl upward. IMAGE: BETH GUGINO
January 23, 2019

Cucurbit vegetables grown in the U.S., namely watermelon, cucumber, squash, pumpkin and muskmelon, are worth $1.35 billion. Faculty at Penn State in collaboration with 16 other universities will utilize funding awarded by the 2018 USDA Specialty Crop Multi-State Program to monitor and forecast cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) over the next three years.

Sara May
January 18, 2019

Congratulations to doctoral candidate Sara May for passing her comprehensive examination.

December 21, 2018

Biocontrol has long been touted as a safer alternative to synthetic pesticides for both, farmworker safety and the environment. However, inconsistent efficacy has hampered its wide adoption for disease management. To address this issue, faculty at Penn State are leading a project, funded by the USDA Specialty Crop Multi-State Program. Their focus is on generating critical knowledge and resources needed to develop and deploy reliable biocontrol strategies that can help protect tomato production from Fusarium wilt, an increasingly problematic soilborne disease.

Natali Ozber
December 19, 2018

Natali Ozber successfully defended her dissertation on December 19.

Examining 1,000-year-old corn cobs from an ancient ruin in Arizona, researchers found a previously unknown virus — the oldest plant virus ever reported. IMAGE: COURTESY OF ROOSSINCK LABORATORY / PENN STATE
December 13, 2018

Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.

Postdoctoral scholars and committee members from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Penn State Postdoc Society pause for a photo during the Eleventh Annual Postdoc Research Exhibition on September 28, 2018.  IMAGE: TRACEY ACCORDINO, PENN STATE
December 7, 2018

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Penn State Postdoc Society presented the 11th annual Postdoc Research Exhibition on September 28 in Alumni Hall and the HUB-Robeson Center.

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
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.

Lycorma delicatula, commonly known as the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), invading a grapevine. IMAGE: ERICA SMYERS, PENN STATE
December 4, 2018

Research and awareness around the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) continues to increase as proposals are selected for funding to help fight this invasive species. These sap-feeding insects are a major threat to U.S. agriculture, timber industry, and many managed and natural ecosystems, feeding on over 70 species of plants.

Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu
December 3, 2018

Congratulations to Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu for passing her oral qualifying exam on Nov. 28.

Chauncy Hinshaw
December 3, 2018

Congratulations to Chauncy Hinshaw for passing his oral qualifying exam on Nov. 28.

A hibernating little brown bat showing the symptoms of white-nose syndrome. IMAGE: MARVIN MORIARTY/USFWS
November 12, 2018

Penn State research aimed at combating white-nose syndrome in bats has received funding from the Bats for the Future Fund, a public-private partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Company, and the Avangrid Foundation.

Graduate students Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu (left) and Terry Torres Cruz were awarded SACNAS travel scholarships to present at the 2018 STEM diversity conference in San Antonio. IMAGE: PHOTO PROVIDED BY TERRY TORRES CRUZ
November 9, 2018

Students and faculty from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology attended The National Diversity in STEM Conference on October 11, 2018, hosted by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). The three-day conference was held in San Antonio this year and is scheduled to take place in Honolulu next year.

October 25, 2018

Pennsylvania has a more-than-century-long history as the nation's leading mushroom-producing state, thanks in part to research and extension programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Phospholutions CEO and Penn State alumnus Hunter Swisher. IMAGE: PENN STATE
October 25, 2018

Licensing a technology created in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State startup Phospholutions developed a soil-amendment product called RhizoSorb. The product aims to reduce phosphorus runoff and enhance plant root depth, decreasing the amount of both water and fertilizer needed to have healthy plants.

Image: Pixabay
October 12, 2018

Plant Pathology Graduate Research Assistantships beginning August 2019 are now available for highly-qualified applicants.