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Department of Plant Pathology News

The Survivors: Sugar Pine Trees and the Future Forest
The Survivors: Sugar Pine Trees and the Future Forest
07-Nov-19
Kat Kerlin, UC Davis News and Media Relations
California’s drought and bark-beetle infestation killed more than 129 million trees between 2012 and 2016 in the Sierra Nevada. But amid the devastation stood some survivors. At the time, UC Davis biologist Patricia Maloney and a team of researchers entered the forest to collect seeds from 100 surviving sugar pine trees. Alongside other parched sugar pines etched with the tell-tale tunnel marks of bark beetles, were green, healthy trees. The researchers spent the past two years raising 10,000 seedlings from 100 surviving mother trees around the Lake Tahoe Basin. They were first cultivated at the USDA Forest Service’s Placerville Nursery and then moved to the UC Davis Tahoe City Field Station.


A tiny beetle has decimated hundreds of SoCal trees. Now experts are worried about Sacramento
19-Sep-19
Michael Finche II, SacBee
City of Sacramento urban forester Kevin Hocker talks about the impact of the polyphagous shot hole borer on July 25, 2019 in Sacramento. The insect has killed many trees in Southern California, and it seems to be moving northward.


UC Davis Experts Investigate Cause of Sudden Grapevine Collapse
UC Davis Experts Investigate Cause of Sudden Grapevine Collapse
26-Aug-19
American Vineyard Magazine
Grapevines are suddenly dying in Lodi and the coastal grape growing regions of California, and the cause is currently unknown. A team of extension experts at UC Davis are currently working with the industry to investigate this issue that is becoming more prevalent in the state. Watch this brief interview with Plant Pathologist Akif Eskalen as he explains and read more about it in American Vineyard Magazine.


UC researchers probe mystery vine collapse
10-Jul-19
Lee Allen
Western FarmPress
A team of researchers, headed by plant pathologists from University of California, Davis, is responding to a growing concern over a malady known simply as mysterious vine collapse.


New Law Sponsored by UC Will Allow Commercialization of Discoveries in State Parks
02-Oct-19
Lisa Howard
The University of California, Davis, became a major driver for the new legislation after Johan Leveau, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, discovered a promising anti-fungal microbe in soils from the Jug Handle State Natural Reserve along the Mendocino Coast but found himself unable to translate his discovery into a public benefit because existing state law did not allow the commercialization of research materials from state parks.


These Trees Survived California’s Drought and That’s Giving Scientists Hope for Climate Change
23-Sep-19
Lauren Sommer
When California’s historic five-year drought finally relented a few years ago, the tally of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada was higher than almost anyone expected: 129 million. Most are still standing, the dry patches dotting the mountainsides.


Can Science Save Citrus?
27-Aug-19
Diane Nelson
“If we don’t act quickly, we could lose all fresh citrus within 10 to 15 years,” says Carolyn Slupsky, professor of nutrition and food science at the University of California, Davis. “Losing citrus would be devastating to people’s health and livelihoods and even change the way we cook and eat. No lime for our guacamole, no squeeze of fresh lemon on our fish.”


COSMOS Program in Plant Microbiology
COSMOS Program in Plant Microbiology
06-Aug-19
Professor Johan Leveau and Graduate student Hung Doan were recently instructors within the UC Davis COSMOS program for high school students


Pam Ronald Returns to Sweden for Honorary Doctorate
Pam Ronald Returns to Sweden for Honorary Doctorate
30-Jul-19
Dave Jones
Pam Ronald, a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, has a vivid memory from the day she arrived in Sweden in 1984 to begin a year as a Fulbright Scholar at Uppsala University...


Graduate Student Beth Hellman Receives 2nd Place for Student Presentation at APS Pacific
Graduate Student Beth Hellman Receives 2nd Place for Student Presentation at APS Pacific
12-Jul-19
Swett Lab member Beth Hellman won second place at the APS Pacific Division student presentation competition with her talk entitled "The effect of increasing soil salinization on resistance to Fusarium wilt of tomato". The meeting was this past June 25-27 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Congratulations, Beth!


Doug Cook and Lab Featured in BBC Documentary
Doug Cook and Lab Featured in BBC Documentary
09-Jul-19
Doug Cook recently appeared on new BBC News series “Follow the Food” to discuss his research on chickpeas. You can see Doug and his lab starting around the 4:30 mark of the episode.


Dr. Themis Michailides Receives Lifetime Achievement Award of the APS Pacific Division
Dr. Themis Michailides Receives Lifetime Achievement Award of the APS Pacific Division
02-Jul-19
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Themis Michailides for receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award of the APS Pacific Division. Well-deserved Themis!


Plant pathology researcher María Florencia Ercoli named to 2019 class of Pew Latin American Fellows
Plant pathology researcher María Florencia Ercoli named to 2019 class of Pew Latin American Fellows
17-Jun-19
CAES News - June 14, 2019
Postdoctoral scholar María Florencia Ercoli, a researcher in the laboratory of plant pathology professor Pamela Ronald, has been named to the 2019 class of Pew Latin American Fellows in Biomedical Sciences. Her research focuses on the strategies infectious bacteria use to invade plant hosts.


Ronald Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Ronald Elected to National Academy of Sciences
30-Apr-19
The National Academy of Sciences announced today (April 30) the election of 125 members, including UC Davis’ Pam Ronald, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Genome Center.


Distinguished Professor Rick Bostock
Distinguished Professor Rick Bostock
19-Apr-19
Congratulations to Rick Bostock for his recent advancement to Distinguished Professor. This honors his career achievements in plant pathology.


Celebration of Advising and Walker Advising Awards
Celebration of Advising and Walker Advising Awards
03-Apr-19
George Terry
Three to be honored at May 2 reception for outstanding student advising, including Phoenix Cluster's Staff Advisor for Animal Biology and Entomology, Elvira Galvan Hack


American Society of Agronomy Poster Award Recipients
American Society of Agronomy Poster Award Recipients
27-Feb-19
Dr. Richard Bostock
Congratulations to Beth Hellman and Justine Beaulieu who were second place awardees for their poster presentations at the American Society of Agronomy, California Chapter, 2019 California Plant and Soil Conference that was held in Fresno on February 5-6. Beth won in the Masters student competition for her poster entitled "Evaluating soil salinity as a risk factor for Fusarium wilt of tomato". Justine won in the Ph.D. student competition for her poster entitled "Substrate alters impacts of deficit irrigation on plant health (growth and disease risk) in containerized annuals". They are both working under the guidance of Dr. Cassandra Swett. Way to go Beth and Justine!


Krishna Subbarao receives the APS Ruth Allen Award
13-Aug-18
Krishna Subbarao was awarded the Ruth Allen award from the American Phytopathological Society. This award honors individuals who have made an outstanding, innovative research contribution that has changed, or has the potential to change, the direction of research in any field of plant pathology. Congratulations Krishna!


Walter Douglas Gubler 1946-2018
Walter Douglas Gubler 1946-2018
25-Jul-18
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Doug Gubler, who passed away unexpectedly on July 19.


Wenjie Qiao published in Viruses (April, 2018)
Wenjie Qiao published in Viruses (April, 2018)
21-Jun-18
George Terry
Congratulations to Wenjie Qiao, Graduate Student in the Falk Lab, who has had an article featured on the cover of the April 2018 edition of the journal Viruses.


NEWS BRIEFS: Professor Presses for Ag Funding
NEWS BRIEFS: Professor Presses for Ag Funding
05-Jun-18
By Dateline Staff in University News
Neil McRoberts, associate professor of plant pathology, will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday (June 6) to participate in an exhibition demonstrating the need for continued federal funding of agricultural research.


Hung Doan: Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community
Hung Doan: Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community
07-Feb-18
Congratulations to Hung Doan for being the 2017-2018 recipient of the Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community for 2017-2018 in the Graduate Student category! This award recognizes Hung’s contributions in enhancing inclusiveness and diversity within the campus community. Hung received the award on February 7th, 2018 in a ceremony at the Chancellor’s residence. Pictured are Chancellor Gary May (right), Hung Doan (center) and Rahim Reed, Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations (right).


Breakfast with the Chancellor
02-Feb-18
Staff joined Chancellor Gary May and his wife, LeShelle, for breakfast at the Chancellor’s residence on Jan. 19


Plant Pathology Professor Dave Rizzo earns national recognition for student advocacy
Plant Pathology Professor Dave Rizzo earns national recognition for student advocacy
19-Jan-18
Plant pathology professor Dave Rizzo, the driving force behind a number of innovative student education programs at UC Davis, is being honored for his outstanding work in improving the undergraduate experience.


Congratulations to our Plant Pathology Graduate Student awardees!
04-Dec-17
Many Plant Pathology Department graduate students received travel awards and graduate student research assistantships. Click the title above to see the full list of students.


Distinguished Professors Tom Gordon and Pam Ronald
Distinguished Professors Tom Gordon and Pam Ronald
01-Dec-17
Congratulations to Tom Gordon and Pam Ronald for their recent advancements to Distinguished Professor. This honors their career achievements in plant pathology and plant science.


Best Oral Presentation ISAP 2017
Best Oral Presentation ISAP 2017
14-Nov-17
Last week, Leslie Holland in the Trouillas Lab won the first place for best oral presentation at the student competition at the VII International Symposium on Almonds and Pistachios in Adelaide Australia.


Dave Rizzo APS Fellow Award
Dave Rizzo APS Fellow Award
29-Jun-17
The American Phytopathological Society - www.apsnet.org
Kudos to Dave Rizzo for recently being selected a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. The society grants this honor to current APS members in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to the APS. Dave is being recognized for his outstanding programs in research, notably oomycete and fungal diseases of forest trees and orchard crops, as well as his contributions in teaching, administration and service. The award will be presented at the APS annual meeting in San Antonio in August.


Teaching Prize Winner Can’t Contain His Enthusiasm: Plant Scientist Dave Rizzo and Students Learn From One Another
Teaching Prize Winner Can’t Contain His Enthusiasm: Plant Scientist Dave Rizzo and Students Learn From One Another
14-Apr-17
Pat Bailey in University News
You could tell that Dave Rizzo was going to be a science guy when he started doing chemistry experiments and growing molds for second- and third-grade show and tell. But, the fact that science would lead him to square off with one of California’s most destructive forest diseases and help create an entirely new global-disease major at the University of California, Davis, came as a surprise — and to no one more than Rizzo himself.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2017-18 Awards
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2017-18 Awards
07-Mar-17
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program has announced their 2017-18 Fellows and Peter Henry, a Ph.D. candidate in Plant Pathology Graduate Program was an awardee. Peter (middle) is shown here with his faculty advisors, Johan Leveau (left) and Tom Gordon (right). Peter is one of at least 16 current UC Davis graduate students who have received this award from NSF, as well as 12 UCD undergraduates, and an unknown number of awardees who may be entering our graduate programs in Fall 2017. In addition, 21 current students and 12 undergraduates received “honorable mention”.


Jessica Franco: DEBVBD Graduate Student Travel Award
Jessica Franco: DEBVBD Graduate Student Travel Award
29-Jun-17
Jessica Franco, a fourth year graduate student in Dr. Gitta Coaker’s lab, will be attending the International Research Conference on Huanglongbing (HLB) in Orlando, FL with support from the DEBVBD Graduate Student Travel Award.


New FPS Grapevine Selections Include European Imports, California Heritage Clones
New FPS Grapevine Selections Include European Imports, California Heritage Clones
06-Dec-16
From WineBusiness.com
New grapevine varieties and selections from Greece, the Republic of Georgia, Croatia and California heritage vineyards will become available for U.S. grape growers in the near future. These selections are among new grapevine material recently released, or being processed to release soon, by Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at the University of California Davis (UCD). FPS staff researcher and manager of the National Grape Registry, Nancy Sweet, highlighted new and upcoming grapevine releases during a presentation at the Annual FPS Grape Advisory Committee meeting held December 1 at the FPS facility in Davis.


Genome Sequencing May Help Avert Banana Armageddon
Genome Sequencing May Help Avert Banana Armageddon
11-Aug-16
Pat Bailey in Food & Agriculture
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and in the Netherlands have discovered how three fungal diseases have evolved into a lethal threat to the world’s bananas. The discovery, reported in the online journal PLOS Genetics, better equips researchers to develop hardier, disease-resistant banana plants and more effective disease-prevention treatments.