Cyber tools allow for rapid identification of plant pathogens

2017 Research impact statement by Professor Seogchan Kang, Ph.D.

Globalization of trade has accelerated the invasion of both exotic pathogens and novel variants of endemic pathogens that threaten U.S. food and environmental security. Identification and subsequent control of these agents must be accomplished quickly and effectively; in this ongoing battle “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Dr. Kang has spearheaded efforts by researchers around the world to build online platforms to systematically catalog rapidly increasing reference DNA sequence data associated with large groups of important and often dangerous pathogens including Phytophthora (PD;, Fusarium (, and Verticillium ( These state-of-the-art cyber systems support pathogen identification as well as the discovery of novel pathogens and enable community-wide data sharing and curation. They are important tools used daily by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, state departments of agriculture across our nation, as well as disease diagnosticians and researchers around the world to protect our food and environment.

Contact Information

Seogchan Kang, Ph.D.
  • Professor
Phone: 814-863-3846