Latest News

Jorge Manzo of McCleaf’s Orchard in Adams County inspects buds on a kiwi vine. He is one of many Spanish-speaking growers who take part in bilingual agricultural education provided by Penn State Extension. IMAGE: TARA BAUGHER
May 6, 2019

For close to a decade, Jorge Manzo has worked at McCleaf’s Orchard, a fifth-generation family farm near Gettysburg in Adams County, where he is responsible for preparing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for market, including a few of his favorites — kiwi, blackberries and raspberries.

Emma Wallace
April 29, 2019

Congratulations to Emma Wallace for passing her oral qualifying exam on April 26.

Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu, doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. IMAGE: PENN STATE
April 24, 2019

Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu, doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been selected as the recipient of the Phytobiomes Fellowship for the 2019-20 academic year.

Yinong Yang, professor of plant pathology, is the 2019 recipient of the Research Innovators Award. IMAGE: PENN STATE
April 17, 2019

Yinong Yang, professor of plant pathology, is the 2019 recipient of the Research Innovators Award, given by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to recognize faculty and staff who have commercialized intellectual property generated by their Penn State research.

Sara Klee
April 12, 2019

Sara Klee successfully defended her dissertation on April 12.

Early freezes or severe cold can damage apple trees, a possible cause of later, rapid deaths. The decline is more common among densely planted trellised orchards (above right). MELISSA DOBERNIGG/THE BX PRESS CIDERY
April 1, 2019

Six years ago, an unpleasant surprise greeted plant pathologist Kari Peter as she inspected a research orchard in Pennsylvania. Young apple trees were dying—and rapidly. At first, she suspected a common pathogen, but chemical treatments didn't help. The next year, she began to hear reports of sudden deaths from across the United States and Canada. In North Carolina, up to 80% of orchards have shown suspicious symptoms. "Rows of trees collapse for what seems like no reason," says Peter, who works at the Pennsylvania State University Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville.

John M. Skelly
March 25, 2019

John M. Skelly, 78 Sr., Ph.D., 78, passed away Friday, March 22, 2019.

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.