Offensive plant pathology
 Faculty, staff, students, alumni,...
 Coffee break schedule and birthdays...
 Important dates
 Highlights of the Professional...

Group Title: PLP news
Title: PLP news. Volume 3, Issue 9. July, 1999.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067320/00007
 Material Information
Title: PLP news. Volume 3, Issue 9. July, 1999.
Series Title: PLP news
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Plant Pathology Department, IFAS, University of Florida
Affiliation: University of Florida -- College of Agricultural and Life Sciences -- Plant Pathology Department -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Plant Pathology Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: July, 1999
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
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Bibliographic ID: UF00067320
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Offensive plant pathology
        Page 1
    Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and colleagues of our department
        Page 2
    Coffee break schedule and birthdays for August 1999
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Important dates
        Page 5
    Highlights of the Professional Development Seminar series
        Page 6
        Page 7
Full Text


* Visiting Scientist from Mexico
* Biological Warfare

* Faculty, staff, and students
* From the field


The Newsletter of
the Plant ? '
Volume 3 Issue 9
July 1999

Offensive Plant Pathology?


It can be
said that plant pa-
thology tradition-
ally plays a passive,
defensive role in
S agriculture, coping
with outbreaks of disease when they ap-
pear and devising strategies for protect-
ing plants against future onslaughts. But,
as in American football, it's the assertive
offense that gets all the fame and glory
from the news media. For example,
news reports and scientific articles in the
journals Plant Disease (3) and Biological
Control (1), describe a virulent new
forma specialist of Fusardum oxporum
wreaking havoc upon South America's
lucrative cocaine industry. In it's June
issue, Scientific American (2) featured an
article entitled Germ Warfare Against
Crops, which listed fusarium and other
plant pathogens that might be used as
biological warfare weapons. Most re-
cently, on July 17th, the Saint Petersburg
Times featured an article headlined Killer
fungus touted to eradicate state pot crop.
In it, Florida's new drug czar, Jim
McDonough, working at the behest of
Governor Jeb Bush, is encouraging the
use of Fusadum oxporum as a mycoher-
bicide for marijuana. As if this was not
enough, we now know that the "world's
most dangerous person," Dr. Rihab
Taha, who heads up Iraq's biological
warfare program, received her graduate

training working on bacterial plant
pathogens in England (4, 5). Clearly, our
discipline's days as the Rodney Danger-
field of agriculture are numbered.

I leave it to you to assess the
true merits of this titillating new directive.
I personally find it useful in my teaching
program, for it provides an attention-
grabbing forum for discussion. I used it
during the Summer B term when teach-
ing the Agricultural Honors Colloquium
(AGG 4921) with Kate Sieving of the
Department of Wildlife Ecology and
Conservation. Dr. Charudattan was an
invited speaker and he did an outstand-
ing job in laying out the practical aspects
of using plant pathogens as biological
warfare weapons. (He declined to pro-
vide specific details, however, on his
relationships with the 42-year-old Dr.
Taha.) The following AGG 4921 as-
signment features this individual, who
UNSCOM inspectors ominously de-
scribe as "Dr. Germ."

AGG 4921 Assignment-
Dr. Germ, "The World's Deadliest
For the first week of class, we have de-

cided upon


a common project for all
AGG 4921 students,
namely to investigate the
issue of plant pathogens as
potential weapons of bio-

logical warfare in relation to the activities
of "Dr. Germ." First we want each of
you to envision a profile of "Dr. Germ"
before you search the literature. Then,
you'll need to access the literature to as-
certain who "Dr. Germ" really is. Finally,
after reviewing the information provided
about Dr. Germ's nefarious program, we
want you to provide your own assess-
ment as to whether or not the threat
posed by Dr. Germ is real. Believe it or
not, this is a serious assignment! Dr.
Germ is a real person living in Iraq and
heading up Saddam Hussien's biological
warfare program. In fact, Dr. Germ, a
pseudonym, is one of the main focal
points of the UN Inspection Team di-
rected by Dr. Richard Butler. The lethal
subjects under investigation in Iraq in-
clude wheat smut, aflatoxins, botulinum,
anthrax, and a host of other sundry mi-
crobial disease agents of humans, animals
and plants. But in regards to plant dis-
ease, how much is real and how much is
hype? To address such an issue, you will
need to know something about plant
pathology and what conditions are con-
ducive to major epidemics. Traditionally,
we are trained to control diseases. Yet
plant pathogens are also being used to
attack plants as well. For example, a
biological-control program targeting pes-
tiferous terrestrial and aquatic weeds is
headed by Dr. Charudattan in our de-
partment. All you have to do is extend


JULY 1999
this logic for the eradication of pestifer-
ous plants to assess the threat that Dr.
Germ's activities could pose. Clearly, you
will need to know something about 1)
Dr. germ's background, 2) what plant
pathogens a person could have in mind,
and 3) how those pathogens act as dis-
ease agents. We want this report to be a
practical assessment of the threat that Dr.
Germ's work poses to the Middle East
and the rest of the world. Is it real or is it
hype? The US government has been ac-
cused of blowing this issue way out of
proportion for its own nationalistic pur-
poses. What do you think-from the
standpoint of plant p irl. .1. -'
News Quotes
4 September 1995 (" --- i:'-; Christo-
pher Dickey) "Iraq ao loaded [into missiles
warheads and bombs] a ittle-known fungal
poison called aflatoxin, which may cause can-
cer...If Saddam had used these devices success-
fully, the result would have been as horning as
Himshima or Nagasaki."

22 December 1991 (New York Times
News Service) 'In the war on cocaine, a
humble root fungs is having a greater impact on
Peru's coca leaf harvest than the :,.'' of Wash-
ington...Coca growers change that the US is
spreading the fungus with heicopters...."

17 July 1999 (St. Petersburg Times by
Julie Hauserman) -'s a killer fungus
among us, and Florida's new drug czar Jim
McDonough hopes to one day let it loose to mur-
der the state's illegal marijuana
cops... McDonough has the backing of US
Rep. BilMcCollum... McCollum and the US
Senator Bob Graham, D-Florida, helped push
for $23 million that Congress appropriated this
year to eradicate plants that provide the raw
material for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

References Cited:
1. Connick, W.J. Jr. et al. 1998. Prepa-
ration of stable, granular formula-
tions containing Fusarium oxypporum
pathogenic to narcotic plants. Biol.
Control 13:79-84

2. Rogers, P. et al. 1997. Biological
warfare against crops. Scientific
American 280:70-75.
3. Sands, D.C. et al. 1997. Characteri-
zation of vascular wilt of Eythroxy-
lum coca caused by Fusarium oxpporrum
fsp. eythnroxy forma specialist nova.
Plant Dis. 81:501-504.
4. Turner, J.G. and R.R. Taha. 1985.
Contribution of tabtoxin to the
pathogenicity of Pseudomonas sy-
ringae pv. Tabaci. Physiol. Plant
Pathology 25:55-69.
5. Turner, J.G., R.R. Taha, and Deb-
bage, J.M. 1986. Effect of tabtoxin
on nitrogen metabolism. Phsiol.
Planatrum 67:649-653.

Faculty, staff, students,
alumni, and colleagues of our


Visiting scientist from
Mexico. Dr. Ana Maria
Bailey is a new addition
to our department. Ana
arrived in Gainesville on

July 1st and will be staying among us until
July 2000. She is originally from Monter-
rey, but has been living in Irapuato, lo-
cated in the state of Guanajuato, for
many years. She is a professor at the
CINVESTAV (Center for Research and
Advanced Studies) in the Department of
Plant Genetic Engineering. She will be
spending her sabbatical leave working
under Dr. Dave Mitchell.
Ana obtained her Ph.D. in 1984 from the
University of California at Riverside,
where she studied under Dr. Mike Cof-
fey. Part of her research included work-
ing on biodegradation of Metalaxyl (Ri-
domil). She obtained a Master of Science
degree in Mexico, working under
Roberto Garcia, a former student of

Dave Mitchell. At her laboratory (The
Molecular Laboratory for Plant Patho-
genic Fungi) Ana has been able to clone
the Phytophthora capsici gene for cutinase.
She made recombinant DNA antibodies
and used them to identify P. capsi. She
noticed that these antibodies for cutinase
are specific and do not react with other
cutinases. If cutinase genes are species
specific, that would prove useful in de-
tecting Phytopthora and Pythium at the spe-
cies level. Here in Gainesville, she will
study cutinase genes of different species
of Phytophthora and Pythium and hopes to
come up with a diagnostic tool for de-
tection and species identification of soil-
bome pathogens.
Ana is planning to present a seminar
sometime in the fall. Although she has
already started working on her project
she has already found time to enjoy some
of what Florida has to offer. She has
traveled to Florida before,
and has visited Orlando,
Tampa, and recently, St.
Augustine. She truly enjoys
Florida (except the heat, of
course) and likes the fact its
peaceful and very green all
over. For
Sheer, coming
to Florida brings back
memories. She had
originally planned to do
her Ph.D. in our department but had to
postpone her studies and ended up in
California instead. It's never too late,
so... welcome to Florida and our de-

Yasser M. Shabana, Associate Profes-
sor, Department of Plant Pathology,
Faculty of Agriculture, Mansoura Uni-
versity, F _'i-.r, was recently awarded The
1998 National Prize of Egypt for Dis-
tinction for the young scientists in recog-
nition of his research work on biological
control of weeds with plant pathogens
and microbial pesticides and also for his
contributions to the scientific community

JULY 1999
of Egypt. This award is given to Egyp-
tian young scientists who perform origi-
nal and excellent research with excep-
tional scientific value to the nation in the
field of agricultural sciences. Shabana has
also been awarded The 1997 Award of
Merit by the University of Mansoura,
Egypt and The 1993 IFS/King Bau-
douin Award by the International Foun-
dation for Science (IFS), Sweden.
Shabana is currently heading a French-
financed project on biological control of
waterhyacinth by using the host specific
fungus, Altenmaia eichhomniae. He is also
serving as a Scientific Adviser for the
IFS, Sweden for the area of Aquatic Re-
sources. Shabana has received several
research grants from the IFS, The Third
World Academy of Sciences (TWAS),
Italy, and The Egyptian Ministry of Agri-
culture. He received his Ph.D. in 1992
under a joint supervision system between
University of Mansoura, F -'pr and the
University of Florida. Subsequently,
Shabana returned to our department as a
postdoctoral associate in the laboratory
of R. Charudattan and investigated the
impact of pathogens on the population
dynamics of the submerged aquatic weed
Dr. Jones, Juliana, and Gustavo re-
cently returned from England, where
they participated in the 13th John Innes
Symposium on "Attack and Defense in
Plant Disease". The meeting was held at
the John Innes Centre in
Norwich, July 20-23. The participants
were impressed with the
high level of the lectures and pointed out
that the environment was conducive for
informal talks with other participants.
Gustavo presented a poster entitled,
"Functional domains of the AvrXv3
protein and their role in eliciting the hy-
persensitive reaction" (G.
Astua-Monge, G. Minsavage, J.B. Jones,
SR.E. Stall,
S. and M.J
S" - -.-. ;- Davis).

~wn ~"Iurp.

s'LP D I)*

Dr. Jones also co-authored the poster:
"Differential induction or
suppression of host defense responses by
Xanthomonas campestris pv.
vesicatoria hp mutants" (W.P. Moss, J.B.
Jones, and M. Wilson).
Bob Harveson successfully defended
his dissertation entitled
"Evolution of the parasitic relationship
of Melanospora and its allies
with Fusarium oxyspornm" on June 21. He
worked under Dr. Kimbrough's guid-
ance. He has accepted a faculty position
with the University of Nebraska and will
be located at the Panhandle Research and
Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE. He
has a 5(0" research / 5i0" extension
appointment with responsibility for dis-
eases of sugar beets, dry edible beans,
and potatoes. He and Tammy will be
located for several months at 1445 Sage
St.,Gering, NE, 69341.
They promise that e-mail addresses
will be forthcoming, and ask us
to stay in touch!!!

Coffee Break Schedule and
Birthdays for August 1999

Friday Coffee Break

8-13 Charudattan's Lab
8-20 Gabriel's Lab
8-27 Jones'Lab


8/5 Richard
8/8 Gene Crawford
8/10 Bayram Cevik
8/12 Alvaro Urena
8/13 Dr. Zettler
8/23 Gabriela Wyss
8/24 Lisa Nodzon
8/26 Patty Hill

From the Field

"Midnight in the Garden of
Allergens and Argentina"

Bob Kemerait

The thirty-first an-
nual meeting of the
American Peanut
Research and Educa-
(APRES) was held at the
Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia
from 13-16 July, 1999. I don't know
how many of you have been to Savannah
lately, but I am here to inform you that
this fairest of southern towns has been
revitalized (read: overrun) with the
popularity, infamy, and intrigue of a sin-
gle book. The true-life crime story,
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and
Evil," written by John Berendt, describes
a murder that occurred in Savannah in
the early 1980's and also captures the
essence of a certain slice of life in this
colorful colonial city. At this point I
must admit that I have neither read the
book nor seen the movie adaptation
directed by the High Plains Drifter him-
self, Clint Eastwood. However, in a
move that can only be described as im-
pulsive, I did go out and buy a copy of
the book while I was there. Reading the
back cover gave me all of the informa-
tion that I have passed on to you. Eve-
rywhere you turn in Savannah, there are
references to historic homes, city squares,
cemeteries, and the statue of a forlorn-
looking girl all associated with this book.
At this point you are probably asking
yourself why I digress from a report of
the peanut science meeting. It is only to
inform the reader that like this host city,
peanut production today is filled with
intrigue and suspense no less worthy of
literary effort.


JULY 1999

Peanuts are grown in a broad band of
southern states in the U.S. including New
Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama,
Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North
Carolina, and Virginia. Georgia, where
peanuts were grown on over 600,000
acres in 1998, is the largest producer. In
comparison, peanuts were grown on
about 90,000 acres in Florida during the
same year. The scientific community as-
sociated with peanut production is repre-
sented by the American Peanut Research
and Education Society (APRES). The
society is composed of agronomists, agri-
cultural economists, weed scientists, plant
pathologists, industry representatives and
many others involved in the buying,
selling, and manufacture of peanut prod-
ucts. Attending the meeting this year
from the Plant Pathology Department
were Dr. Tom Kucharek and myself.
Dr. Fred Shokes, a pathologist formerly
at the North Florida Research and Edu-
cation Center in Quincy and now the
director at the Tidewater Research Center
in Suffolk,
i., --, Virginia, was
'. APRES ) also there. A
number of
members of the Agronomy Department
at UF were in attendance, including Dr.
Jerry Bennett, Dr. Ken Boote, Dr. Ken
Quesenberry, Dr. Ben Whitty, Dr. Maria
Gallo-Meagher, Dr. Dan Gorbet, Harry
Wood, Mach Murakami, and Marcos
Freire. Some students and faculty may
remember Dr. Albert Chiteka who took
several courses in our department,
though he received his Ph.D. in agron-
omy in 1998. He returned to the U.S.
from Zim-
S I babwe to
attend the
B U L L 0 GS In all, the
attended by several hundred participants
and was hosted by faculty from the Uni-
versity of Georgia.

The annual meeting facilitates an ex-
change of information concerning the
entire effort to produce and sell peanut
products. Unlike other scientific confer-
ences, such as the APS meeting, one can
learn about the many problems that face
a single industry and the relative impor-
tance of plant diseases in the "big pic-
ture." The major topics of discussion at
this meeting were the increasing impor-
tance of peanut allergens and foreign
competition in peanut production, pri-
marily from Argentina. In the past, the
issue of aflatoxins was of grave concern;
however the emerging problem of aller-
gic reactions to peanut products has
captured the industries attention. While
severe allergic reactions after consuming
products containing peanuts are not
common, serious consequences including
death have been known to
occur. As one speaker
pointed out, to date no
deaths in the U.S. have
been linked to eating pea-
nut products contaminated with aflatox-
ins. This is not true for allergic reactions
to peanuts. Airlines and school systems
have threatened to remove products
containing peanuts from their menus.
The peanut industry is trying to deal with
this situation in a number of ways, such
as through public education and sup-
porting research at the University of Ar-
kansas aimed at developing a vaccine for
this allergy. Consumption of peanut
products, such as peanut butter, has been
declining in recent years. Therefore, the
industry is taking this issue very seriously
both for public safety and for its own

Two of the largest peanut producers in
the world are
China and India;
h~; however most of
their yield is used
in the production
of cooking oil.
b Nearly all of the
s~n 4 peanuts produced

in the United States are eaten as peanut
butter, snacks and in candy. While the
largest market for snack peanuts is right
here at home, the U.S. growers also ex-
port peanuts to countries such as Hol-
land. After the passage of international
trade agreements, growers in the United
States now are having to compete with
other countries for a share in the peanut
market. Perhaps the biggest competition
for American producers comes from the
country of Argentina, which has seen a
huge increase in production in the past
Not only can growers in Argentina pro-
duce and ship peanuts at a much lower
cost than can American growers, but
contamination by aflatoxin is not nearly
the problem in Argentina as it is in the
southeastern United States. To remain
competitive, growers in the United States
must maintain superior peanut quality
while at the same time minimizing the
cost of inputs through careful crop man-

In the area of plant pathology, tomato
spotted wilt virus remains an important
disease affecting peanut production. It
has been a focus of much study, though
satisfactory management tools are still
elusive. Much of the breeding efforts in
the southeastern U.S. have been aimed at
developing resistant varieties. One vari-
ety that looks promising, FL MDR 98,
was developed by Dr. Dan Gorbet, a UF
breeder stationed in Marianna. "MDR"
refers to "multiple disease resistance". A
number of presentations were made on
the control of foliar and soilbore fungal
diseases using new fungicide programs.
Several papers recognized the importance
of Folicur (tebuconazole) in the control
of Cylindrocladium black rot. Interest-
ingly, for a number of years, Dr.
Kucharek stood alone among patholo-
gists in recognizing the benefits of using
this fungicide in controlling CBR.

The American Peanut Research and
Education Society sponsored the Joe

JULY 1999
Sugg student paper competition. Ten
students participated in the competition
and presented papers on weed science,
breeding agronomy, entomology and
plant pathology. Ms. H. Lyerly from
North Carolina State University won the
competition. Her presentation was enti-
tled "Evaluation of Wild Species of Pea-
nut for Resistance to Tomato Spotted
Wilt Virus". The second spot was taken
by a student from the University of
Florida. (Congratulations, Bob!!0

Finally, no summary of the 1999 APRES
meeting would be complete without
mention of the extracurricular activities
available for the participants and their
families. Unlike other meetings, the
APRES meeting is geared to provide
entertainment for the participants and
their families as well. Numerous tours of
Savannah were organized for spouses
and children. Through the generosity of
a number of chemical companies, several
very nice meals were provided. Novartis
provided every type of peanut snack
food that you could imagine in between
sessions. Rhone-Poulenc hosted an ice
cream social for families during the first
night of the meeting. Zeneca hosted an
evening dinner cruise down the Savan-
nah River and Bayer hosted a low coun-
try boil (a traditional meal in the coastal
areas of South Carolina and Georgia) on
the final evening of the conference.
DowAgrosciences hosted a breakfast
buffet on the final morning of the meet-
ing. These events were well attended and
appreciated by all.

Peanut producers and
industry in the United
States must deal with
a number of serious
problems and growers
face an uncertain fu-
ture at this time. The
APRES conference
gave researchers from
across the country the
opportunity to gather

and work towards some solutions for
these problems. At the same time, these
researchers had the chance to relax, re-
establish old acquaintances and make
new ones in a city of charm and history.

Important Dates


6 All Summer V
Classes End M Jt
7 Summer Com-
7-11 Annual APS and CPS meeting
20 New Graduate Student Orien-

Recent Publications and Pres-

Maffia, L.A. and Berger,
R.D. April 1999. Models
of plant disease epidemics
II :gradients of bean rust.
Journal of Phytopathol-
ogy vol.147 (4):199-206.

At the 21st Week of Citriculture held
June 7-11 in the State of Sao Paulo, Bra-
zil, Tim Gottwald, USDA, presented two
talks. The first was on why an eradication
program for citrus canker is important in
Florida and the second on the causes and
effects of citrus canker spread in Florida.
Ken Bailey, USDA, also presented a pro-
gram on the citrus canker eradication
program in Florida.

Leisure and Culture in
Gainesville, Florida
August '99 and Beyond

"The Creation" by F.J.
Haydn is presented by the
University of Florida


School of Music. Performed by the UF
Summer Chorus, Orchestra, and local
soloists. Directed by Dr. James Morrow,
Director of Choral activities.

Nansi Carroll, Gabriel
Ronald Burrichter, Uriel
Steven Saxon, Raphael
Jean-Ronald LaFond, Adam
Lisa Romero LaFond, Eve
Thursday, August 5, 1999 at 8:00 p.m.
Center for the Performing Arts

All Areas $10. Rush (2 hours before the
concert) $5. UF Students 50 cents

(Ed. Note: Jorge Vazquez, a student in
our department, is a member of the
summer chorus)

i.. .i.r Rauschenberg: The Chines
Summerhall Series." Exhibition on dis-
play through September 26, 1999. Call
* "Asian Art from the Permanent Col-
lection" on display in the Ham Museum
through January 2000.
*The works of Isamu No-
guchi on display at Harn
Museum through Septem-
ber 26, 1999.
*European Prints from the Ham Mu-
seum Collection. Through August 22,
*"The British Landscape: Watercolors
from 1760 to 1860." Through August
15, 1999.
* "Masters of the Night: The True Story
of Bats", at the Florida Museum of
Natural History. Through September 6.
Call 846-2000.
* "Giving Honor: Native American
Women's Art from the Florida Museum
of Natural History." Through August
29, 1999 at Harn Museum.
* "Building the American Collections:
Selected Acquisitions Since 1995."
Through August 15, 1999 in the Har


JULY 1999

Highlights of the Professional
Development Seminar Series
By Richard Blacharski
During the course of a graduate student's
education, the development of profes-
sional skills needed for life after graduate
school is often overlooked. To fill this
void in instruction, a Professional Devel-
opment Seminar series was offered to
Plant Pathology students and students in
related fields. The series consisted of five
seminars with faculty members, from
both inside and outside of the depart-
ment, and personnel from on-campus
resources giving one-hour seminars.

Dr. Zettler presented the first seminar
about the interviewing process. The
seminar was timely since the department
was in the process of hiring a new faculty
member. Dr. Zettler used this as a basis
for his seminar by explaining what crite-
ria the position required and how each
candidate presented theirs skills to the
department. Zettler stated, "Selling your-
self to potential employers is accom-
plished by knowing what they are look-
ing for and providing the evidence that
you possess the skills to do the job."

The ability to write a scientific paper is an
art that is learned through patience and
practice. Dr. Jeffery Jones informed the
students about his personal experience as
both an editor and author. Dr. Jones ex-
plained what he looked for in papers
when he was an editor of Plant Disease.
"The mistakes most people make are
mostly grammatical," Dr. Jones com-
mented, "make sure you submit a manu-
script that is as error-free as possible." A
general format of scientific papers and
some hints on what to include were pre-

Ms. Helda Mon-
tero-Francsis of
Sthe Career Resource
Center presented
the third seminar on

curriculum vitae building. The seminar
covered the format and content of a
strong c.v.

Grant writing, an important skill for
young scientists, was covered in the
fourth seminar by Dr. Harry Klee of the
Plant Molecular and Cell Biology pro-
gram. His experience with grant review
panels and grant writing has led him to
the motto
"Remember the audience you are writing
for and keep it simple."

Dr. Richard Berger gave the last semi-
nar on the proper presentation of scien-
tific work. Berger used the paper ab-
stracts for the upcoming APS meeting to
demonstrate mistakes people make when
writing in scientific format. The seminar
also included some tips and guidelines
for poster presentation. Simple mistakes
can undermine the information you are
trying to convey in a paper; make sure to
proofread carefully.

All of the seminars were well attended
and on behalf of the students in our de-
partment, I would like to thank the pre-
senters. Their excellent work, in both
content and delivery, illustrates their
strong commitment to the overall educa-
tion and development of the graduate
student body.

Who is Who In Our Department

Who Is n.. '

Dr. George Agrios

Few people in
the field of
plant pathology
haven't met
him, but how
much do you
really know

about the chairman of our department?
Here's a primer on Dr. Agrios, the man
who puts out fires and coordinates the
teaching, research and extension pro-
grams for our department.

Dr. Agrios earned his BS in horticulture
at the University of Thesaloniki in
Greece. He came to the US in 1956 as an
exchange student and met his future wife
during his graduate studies at Iowa State
University. He earned his Ph.D. there in
plant pathology and returned to Greece
to serve in the army. His college sweet-
heart went with him and taught English
while in Greece. After his service in the
army, they married and chose to return to
the US, in search of a Ph.D. Plant Pa-
thology position. Dr. Agrios found that
position at the University of Massachu-
setts and worked there as a professor
until 1988, when he joined the team at
the University of Florida.

His current projects within the depart-
ment include the implementation of the
new Doctor of Plant Medicine program,
the hiring of a new faculty member, and
helping new faculty with startup funds,
course outlines and lab set-up. He hopes
the new Doctor of Plant Medicine degree
will bring in more students and help to
achieve his goal of making the University
of Florida Plant Pathology program the
#1 in the world. He is also constantly
revising his textbook. He has been
teaching for 25 and a half years, which
explains why his favorite part of his job
is the interaction with students.

In what little free time he has, Dr. Agrios
enjoys relaxing with a magazine, journal
or newspaper and taking
walks with his wife. He
also enjoys art exhibits
and fairs, and is a sup-
porter of UF volleyball,
gymnastics and basketball. He enjoys
spending time with two of his grandchil-
dren who live in the area and hopes to
soon travel to Hawaii and Scandinavia.

JULY 1999

* Did you know....
* That Dr. Agrios is an avid traveler and
traveled to Spain and Greece last sum-
* That he used to collect stamps but now
they're collecting dust!?
* That he used to spend much of his time
camping with his three sons?
* That he knows some Swedish? (ask him
whom he learned from....)

Hey Budding Writers and Folks with
Questions : We want to hear from you! If
you would like to join our staff or con-
tribute an article, contact us!

PLP News
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Richard Blacharski
Ronald French

Misty Nielsen
Angela Vincent
Camilla Yandoc

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Eduardo Carlos
Juliana Freitas-Astua
Robert Kemerait
Mariadaniela Lopez
Michael Mahovic
Maureen Petersen

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