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Department of Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University
1712 Claflin Road
4024 Throckmorton PSC
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-6176
Fx: +1-785-532-5692

Minor in Plant Pathology

Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases, their causes, effects, and control. Keeping plants healthy requires an understanding of the organisms and agents that cause disease as well as an understanding of how plants grow and are affected by disease. The expanding interest in the quality of our global environment and increasing global demand for high quality food, fiber, tree and ornamental plants provides many opportunities for graduates with training in plant pathology.

Teaching and research faculty specialize in wheat, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, rice, turf and horticultural diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and viruses. In addition, departmental teaching and research efforts integrate the crops and pathogen groups important to Kansas, the U.S., and the world through the study of bioinformatics, cytogenetics/germplasm improvement, disease diagnostics, disease physiology, epidemiology, microbial ecology, fungal genetics, host-parasite interactions, modeling/statistics, molecular genetics/genomics, plant biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental science.


A plant pathologist is a professional who specializes in plant health much as a physician specializes in human health or a veterinarian in animal health. Opportunities for graduates with plant pathology minors include basic and applied research, international development, teaching, crop consulting, and extension. In addition, plant pathology expertise is useful for farm and greenhouse managers, park and golf course superintendents, agribusiness sales representatives, and other biological science positions requiring a bachelor's degree.


Training available in plant pathology at KSU includes the following areas:

  • Diseases of Kansas crops (wheat, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, turf, and horticultural plants)
  • Ecology and evolution
  • Genetics/biotechnology/genomics/bioinformatics
  • Host-plant resistance
  • Molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions
  • Pathogen biology
Course Requirements (15 credit hours)
Required (5 credit hours):
Course numberCourse titleCredit hoursTerm offeredInstructor(s)
PLPTH 500Principles of Plant Pathology3SpringLucky Mehra

PLPTH 585 or


Crop Diseases

Landscape Diseases




Judy O'Mara


Plus 3 additional hours in Plant Pathology, such as:
Course numberCourse titleCredit hoursTerm offeredInstructor(s)
PLPTH 495Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology0-3Spring, Summer, and FallRichard Todd
PLPTH 587 / HORT 587Turfgrass Diseases and Their Management1FallJack Fry
PLPTH 610 / AGRON 610Biotechnology3FallHarold Trick
PLPTH 730Plant Nematology 3Spring (even years) Tim Todd 
PLPTH 732 / AGRON 732 / ENTOM 732Introduction to Plant Resistance to Pests Fall (even years) Mithila Jugulam / Michael Smith / Tim Todd 
PLPTH 755 Plant Resistance to DiseasesFall (even years) Tim Todd
PLPTH 765 Integrated Plant Disease Management Fall Jessica Rupp 


At least 7 additional hours from the following:
Course numberCourse titleCredit hoursTerm offeredInstructor(s)
Any other course in Plant Pathology    
AGRON 330Weed Science3FallAnita Dille
AGRON 645Soil Microbiology3FallCharles Rice
AGRON 646Soil Microbiology Laboratory1FallCharles Rice
BIOL 455General Microbiology4Fall, SpringChristopher Herren
BIOL 604Biology of the Fungi3FallAri Jumpponen
BIOL 675Genetics of Microorganisms3FallRevathi Govind
BIOL 676Molecular Genetics Laboratory3FallAnna Zinovyeva
BIOL 687 Microbial Ecology Spring Lydia Zeglin 
BIOL 690Microbial Physiology and Metabolism2Spring 
BIOL 705 Eukaryotic GeneticsFall Anna Zinovyeva 
ENTOM 300 Economic Entomology 2-3 Spring Holly Schwarting and Jeffery Whitworth 
ENTOM 312 General Entomology Fall Jeremy Marshall and Thomas Phillips 
ENTOM 320Horticultural Entomology2-3FallJames Nechols 
ENTOM 620 Insecticides: Properties and Laws Spring (even years) Kristopher Silver 
ENTOM 655 Plant Resistance to Insects Fall (even years) Michael Smith 
HORT 582 Foundations of Horticultural Pest Management Fall Steve Keeley 
HORT 588 Turfgrass Weeds and Their Management Fall Steve Keeley 
HORT 589 Turfgrass Insects and Their Management Fall  

Contact Us

Dr. Lucky Mehra
Plant Pathology Minor Coordinator
Email Dr. Mehra


Kansas State University
Department of Plant Pathology
4024 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-5502

Ph: +1-785-532-6176

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