1. K-State home
  2. »Plant Pathology
  3. »Research
  4. »Plant Pathology Research: Thematic Areas

Department of Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology Research: Thematic Areas

Disease Diagnosis and Management

Erick DeWolf - Development of disease management strategies for fungal diseases of wheat including Fusarium head blight, tan spot, leaf rust and stripe rust

Doug Jardine- Identification and management of disease pests of field row crops. State Leader for Extension Plant Pathology.

Megan Kennelly- Extension/research; turf grass pathology and urban and horticultural plant pathology problems. 

Judy O'Mara- Extension/teaching. Plant disease diagnostician. Coordinates the Kansas State Unviersity Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. Diagnoses statewide disease problems of horticultural and field crops.

Jim Stack- Epidemiology and management of field crop diseases in the Great Plains. Theory and practice of biological management of plant pathogens and disease.

Tim Todd - Diagnosis and management of nematode diseases of field and horticultural crops.

  • Disease management
    • Bob Bowden - Wheat disease management, crop loss assessment.

      Erick DeWolf - Research evaluating the efficacy of disease management strategies including crop rotation, tillage, host resistance and fungicides. Development of decision tools that will help wheat producers successfully integrate disease management strategies.

      Doug Jardine - Identification and management of disease pests of field row crops. State Leader for Extension Plant Pathology. Research interests include seed treatments of grain sorghum and soybeans, management of charcoal rot and Phytophthora root rot on soybeans.

      Megan Kennelly - Studies on the effects of fertility, aerification, cultivar selection and fungicides for management of large patch of creeping bentgrass. Evaluation of fungicides, biological controls and cultivar resistance for dollar spot of creeping bentgrass. Evaluation of application technologies for control of dollar spot of creeping bentgrass. Evaluation of fungicides for management of brown patch of tall fescue. Evaluation of organically labeled products for foliar diseases of tomato.

      Chris Little - Management of fungal diseases of sorghum and soybeans. Impact of soils, irrigation and nutrition upon charcoal rot processes in Kansas.

      Jim Stack - Epidemiology and management of field crop diseases in the Great Plains. Theory and practice of biological management of plant pathogens and disease.

      Tim Todd - Durable resistance strategies for the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. Crop loss assessment and damage relationships for nematode pests of corn and soybean.

  • Sustainable Agriculture
    • Megan Kennelly - Effect of organic and conventional fertility practices on disease development in vegetables grown in high tunnels and open field conditions.

Disease Resistance Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology
  • Cytogenetics/germplasm improvement
    • Bernd Friebe - Transfer of agronomically important genes from wild wheat relatives to cultivated wheats; development, molecular cytogenetic characterization, and maintenance of genetic wheat stocks; analysis of karyotype evolution within the triticeae.

      Bikram S. Gill - Molecular mapping of useful genes, wheat genome physical mapping and sequencing

  • Molecular genetics/genomics - Disease Resistance
    • Bernd Friebe - transfer of agronomically important genes from wild wheat relatives to cultivated wheats; development, molecular cytogenetic characterization, and maintenance of genetic wheat stocks; analysis of karyotype evolution within the triticeae.

      Bikram Gill - Molecular mapping of useful genes, wheat genome physical mapping and sequencing

  • Plant Biotechnology
    • Harold Trick - Molecular biology and genetic engineering of crop plants with emphasis on wheat and soybean. Uses transgenic technology as novel methods for crop protection and increase value-added traits. Director of K-State's Plant transformation Facility and assists other researchers with creating transgenic plants.

    • John Fellers- Mapping and cloning genes in wheat for resistance to Karnal bunt, leaf rust, stem rust, scab, septoria, Hessian fly and viruses. Genomics approaches to identify new markers and expressed sequence tags for plant disease and insect resistance genes. (bioinformatics)
Epidemiology, Modeling and Microbial Ecology
  • Epidemiology and Microbial ecology
    • Erick De Wolf - Influence of environment on the development of wheat disease epidemics. Research currently focuses on the pathogen reproduction and infection processes.

    • Megan Kennelly- Effects of microclimate on development of large patch in zoysiagrass.

    • Chris Little- Soilborne plant pathogens/soil microbiology relating to general and applied aspects of fungal diseases of sorghum and soybeans. Interest areas include charcoal rot, SDS, stalk rots and pathogen-antagonistic streptomycetes. Also, fungal pathogens associated with grain mold of sorghum.

    • Tim Todd - Population and community ecology of soil nematodes, and the use of nematodes as indicators of disturbance and recovery in natural systems.

  • Modeling/statistics
    • Erick DeWolf  - Modeling epidemics in complex landscapes, statistical applications in ecology and ecological genomics. 

      Tim Todd - Population dynamics of soil nematodes and their responses to management practices in agricultural and natural ecosystems.

Pathogen and Microbe Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology

Bob Bowden - Genetics and biology of Fusarium graminearum.

Kevin McCluskey - Genetics and genomics of classical mutant identification

 

Richard Todd - Classical and molecular genetic manipulation of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, a model for plant pathogenic fungi and industrial fungi. Determining the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in response to nutrient availability, an important factor for pathogenesis.

Barbara Valent - Genetics and functional genomics of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea, and its host, Oryza sativa, with a focus on molecular understanding of the "gene-for-gene" surveillance systems by which plants detect and defend themselves against pathogens. Analysis of the AVR-Pita and Pi-ta resistance gene system for elucidation of recognition and triggering mechanisms, defense signal transduction pathways and defense responses. Understanding avirulence gene functions in the infection process. Population biology of fungal avirulence genes as an aid to R gene deployment.

 

  • Molecular genetics/genomics - Pathogen and Microbe
    • Richard Todd - Genetics and functional genomics of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, a model for plant pathogenic fungi and industrial fungi. Emphasis on molecular mechanisms of gene function, regulation of transcription factor activity in response to nutrient availability, comparative genomics of fungal transcription regulators and comparative functional genomics of nitrogen regulatory gene networks in plant pathogenic fungi.

    • Chris Toomajian - Population and evolutionary genetics and genomics of plants and plant pathogens. Analyzes genome-scale DNA polymorphism datasets in order to infer the relative importance of processes such as mutation, recombination, genetic drift, migration and natural selection in creating observed patterns of polymorphisms. Develops methods to infer recent instances of natural selection at the DNA level in order to identify adaptive genetic variation. Is interested in methods and datasets that allow for the statistical mapping of quantitative trait loci (complex traits) back to the genome in samples of unrelated individuals.

Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Host Parasite Interactions
    • Barbara Valent - Genetics and functional genomics of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea and its host, Oryza sativa with a focus on molecular understanding of the "gene-for-gene" surveillance systems by which plants detect and defend themselves against pathogens. Analysis of the AVR-Pita and Pi-ta resistance gene system for elucidation of recognition and triggering mechanisms, defense signal transduction pathways and defense responses. Understanding avirulence gene functions in the infection process. Population biology of fungal avirulence genes as an aid to R gene deployment.

      Disease physiology

    • Barbara Valent - Genetics and functional genomics of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea and its host, Oryza sativa with a focus on molecular understanding of the "gene-for-gene" surveillance systems by which plants detect and defend themselves against pathogens. Analysis of the AVR-Pita and Pi-ta resistance gene system for elucidation of recognition and triggering mechanisms, defense signal transduction pathways and defense responses. Understanding avirulence gene functions in the infection process. Population biology of fungal avirulence genes as an aid to R gene deployment.