Herbert Hice Whetzel (1877-1944)...
 Faculty, staff, students, alumni,...
 Recent publications
 Biotech briefs
 USPS profile: the other Lucious...
 Faculty profile: Jeffrey Rolli...

Group Title: PLP news
Title: PLP news. Volume 5, Issue 1. Jan/Feb, 2001.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067320/00017
 Material Information
Title: PLP news. Volume 5, Issue 1. Jan/Feb, 2001.
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: 2001
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067320
Volume ID: VID00017
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
    Herbert Hice Whetzel (1877-1944) and th first Department of Plant Pathology in the United States
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and colleagues of the department
        Page 3
    Recent publications
        Page 4
    Biotech briefs
        Page 5
    USPS profile: the other Lucious Mitchell
        Page 6
    Faculty profile: Jeffrey Rollins
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text


* The First Chairman
* Biotech Briefs

* The Other Lucious Mitchell

rPLP News

From the students of
the Plant F
Department to our com-
SVolume 5 Issue 1
Jan-Feb 2001


Herbert Hice Whetze I (1877-1944) and The
First Department of P I ant Pathology In
The United States.

By: Ronald Fnmnch

we go back in
time and recall
the scientists and
personalities that
had an influence
in early plant
pathology, names
whet such as Kuhn, de
Bary, Berkeley
and Hartig may come to mind. At the
turn of the 20th Century, one individual
that comes to mind as one of the chief
developers of plant pathology is none
other than Herbert Hice Whetzel. Not
only did he contribute to plant
pathology as a scientist but he has been
the driving force behind the creation of
the first department of Plant Pathology.
As head of the Department of Plant
Pathology at Cornell University, he set
the foundations for undergraduate and
graduate t, ._hii-, graduate research and
extension programs. As a visionary, he
had the ability to stimulate and mentor
those who would later pass the torch to
the next generation of plant
Herbert Hice Whetzel was
born in a rural farm close to Avilla,

Indiana on September 5th, 1877. He
was of early German, immigrant
pioneer Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. It
was his grandfather who brought the
family from the east coast mostly by
horse and wagon through mountains
and forests until they finally settled in
northern Indiana.
Growing up in a farm, Whetzel
learned the struggles and perils of being
a farmer. Even going to school was not
easy; he had to walk five miles to
school. However, school was a part of
his life that he truly enjoyed. In fact,
after he graduated from Avilla High
School in 1895, he taught for 2 years in
local country schools. Whetzel learned
the art of being a self-made man early in
his life. Accounts of Whetzel have it
that, when he turned sixteen, his father
told him, "You are sixteen, you're a man
now. Go upstairs and put on your best
suit and collect your chief belongings in
a bag that you can carry". Upon doing
so, his father handed him twenty dollars
and let him face the real world on his
He would end up teaching
school for a period of
About two years, then

furthering his education at Wabash
College, Indiana, at the age of 19. It
was at Wabash where Whetzel was
introduced to the disciplines of Botany
and Mycology, a preview to the world
of Plant Pathology. It was at Wabash
where Whetzel found his mentor, the
man that would serve as a source of
inspiration and guidance: Mason B.
Thomas. Thomas, a former student of
Dudley at Cornell, was a teacher of
Botany and Mycology, scholar and
investigator. It was at his home where
Whetzel lived during part of his college
years at Wabash. So impressed was
Thomas with Whetzel's persona that he
managed to further Whetzel's studies in
mycology by "convincing" G.F.
Atkinson at Cornell to have Whetzel as
his graduate assistant starting in 1904.
What other choice could
Atkinson have when part of Thomas'
praise for Whetzel included: "''- h, r I
was the best student of botany ever
graduated from Wabash, by reason of
his excellent high school preparation,
his wide reading, and his extensive field
work." By 1902, Whetzel had received
his A.B. in Botany; a couple of years
later, he would begin his studies at


Cornell. By that time, he had collected
and determined 80 slime molds, had
taught a course in nature study to city
school teachers and had delivered two
papers to the Indiana Academy of
Science on apple rust and on the genus
Since he had been hired on
money for extension of information and
research on plant diseases, he
conducted surveys of diseases
throughout New York State and
publishes his first station bulletin on
onion blight in 1904. As part of his
duties, Whetzel also was given an
appointment as instructor responsible
for plant disease investigations.
His success as an instructor
and investigator led to his appointment
as Assistant Professor of Botany and
Head of the new Department of Botany
in the recently created State College of
Agriculture. This new department
would handle the plant diseases aspect
of Botany. Whetzel, however, felt that
this name was not suitable enough. By
October 1, 1907 he finally got the Dean
of Agriculture and personal friend,
Liberty Hyde Bailey, to change his
department's name to that of Plant
Pathology and his tite as Head and
Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology.
Unfortunately, this bold move
prevented him from completing his
Ph.D. It was a move that Whetzel felt
was necessary to give plant diseases its
full due of respect since 85 out of 224
bulletins issued by the college of
agriculture dealt directly or indirectly
with plant diseases.
As the head of the first
department of plant pathology in the
U.S., his knowledge, administrative
Ability, and teaching skills
would help him build a
well balanced department
based on solid research,
extension and
instruction. Not only did he participate
in the department as its administrator
but also as an educator and mentor.
Although initially in charge of teaching
mycology, he transferred the

responsibility to Fitzpatrick in order to
teach the elementary course in plant
pathology. It was under this new
teaching responsibility that Whetzel
would be able to create the foundation
for future plant pathologists, as he
could determine those students who
were to be the promising figures in
plant pathology.
So influenced was Whetzel by
his mentor and friend, Mason B.
Thomas, that he followed in his same
lines. He would select a few
undergraduates and choose one to work
in his garden and conduct house chores
(in exchange for room and breakfast).
Others were not as lucky as his chosen
one since they would end up with other
faculty members. Under his supervision,
these students or "boys", as he would
call them, would be surrounded by a
world of labor, friendship and direction.
In fact, accounts tell of Whetzel driving
several of "his" students and making
them learn the art of gardening and
labor by dropping them off at the
homes of many of the faculty who were
in "desperate" need of garden
improvement, as well as some plant
disease management. One of the "girls"
-if there was such a term- that Whetzel
influenced was Cynthia Wescott,
whom he advised to go into private
practice in plant pathology. In fact, she
was one of the first to succeed as a plant
Mentoring and forging
students with a solid foundation in plant
pathology had to go hand in hand with
strengthening the department as well.
With the help of Liberty Hyde Bailey,
he set on a course of gathering funds to
improve the departments'
infrastructure, educators, extensionists
and researchers. He gathered funds for
training and hiring new plant
pathologists, of which Wabash College
was a beneficiary. These funds would
come from growers, industry and
government. Whetzel, unlike many
contemporaries, believed that Plant
Pathology had to go hand in hand with
not only the growers but industry as

well. In fact many of the students who
came for graduate studies at Cornell
were under industrial fellowships. It is
of no surprise that research on
fungicides was an important component
in the graduate curriculum and research.
As for the growers, he was able to
develop a relationship with them to
such an extent that many would not
mind when Whetzel would speak on for
two hours on a plant pathogen (ie.
onion blight) during many of his
extension trips.
"Prof Whetzel, as he was
called, had spent sixteen
years as head of the
department of plant
pathology when he
decided to step down but
continue his role as mentor, instructor
and researcher. Not only did he
continue as the instructor of the
introductory course in plant pathology
but was free to conduct research and
publish on the Sclerotiniaceae and its 15
known genera at that time. He was also
active outside the department, as a
faculty representative on the board of
trustees and as chairman of the student
conduct committee.
One of his greatest
contribution to U.S. mycology was that
of being a driving force behind the
establishment of the Mycological
Society of America (MSA) in 1931, of
which he was president in 1939. He
also served in the editorial board of
Mycologia for 7 years. In the field of
plant pathology, his contribution was as
important. "Prof' Whetzel was a charter
member of the American
Phytopathological Society (APS),
member of its first Council, an editor
for 2 years and its president in 1915.
As for his University
responsibilities outside the department,
he was a faculty representative on the
board of trustees and chairman of the
student conduct committee. Although
he was never able to complete his
doctoral degree, he did receive two
honorary D.Sc., one from the
University of Puerto Rico (1926) and

the other from his alma mater, Wabash
College (1931). His early experiences
with collecting slime molds translated
into him being responsible for
establishing and organizing the Cornell
Mycological Herbarium which had
31,000 specimens when Whetzel died
on November 30, 1944, at the age of 67.
His death marked the end of
one of the most versatile figures that
have been seen in the scientific world. A
true visionary, mentor and
c innovator. For many, one
of the best (if not the best)
professors of the college
of agriculture.

Positive Feedback on Whetzel

"None of his colleagues put on a more
entertaining show or more interest
compelling presentations of his subject"
l''. U r I showed genius at solving old
problems in new ways"
"...reversing the distrust that many
farmers had for university scientists."


Ainsworth, G.C. 1981. Introduction to
the History of Plant Pathology.
Cambridge University Press, Great
Britain. 315 pp.

Barrus, M. F. and Stakman, E.C. 1945.
Herbert Hice Whetzel 1877-1944.
Phytopathology 35:659-670

Newhall, Allan G. 1980. Herbert Hice
Whetzel: Pioneer American Plant
Pathologist. Annual Review of
Phytopathology 18:27-36.

Fitzpatrick, H.M. 1945. Herbert Hice
Whetzel. Mycologia 37:393-413.

Whetzel, Herbert Hice. 1918. An
Outline of the History of
Phytopathology. W.B Saunders
Company. Ithaca, New York. 130pp.

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

Matt Pettersen delivered his M.S. exit
seminar on February 6, 2001. His semi-
nar was titled "Tobacco Mild Green Mo-

(TMGMV U2) as a
Potential Bioherbi-
cide of Tropical
Soda Apple (so-
lanum miarum Du-
nal). Matt's advisor
is Dr. Charudattan and the members of
his committee are Drs. Hiebert and Zet-
tier. Way to go, Matt!!!

Dr. Raghavan ("Charu") Charudat-
tan, participated in the second Intema-
tional Organization for Biological and
Integrated Control (OBC) Global
Working Group Meeting on Biological
w and Integrated Control
of Water Hyacinth in
Beijing, China, October
9-12, 2000. Charu pre-
sented a keynote talk on
the use of plant patho-
gens as biological con-
trol agents of water
hyacinth. The meeting
was organized and hosted by the Chinese
Academy of Agricultural Sciences and
the Chinese Institute of biological Con-
trol. Charu visited the institute as well as
the U.S.D.A./A.R.S Sino-American Bio-
logical Control Laboratory, both located
in China.

Alvaro Urena successfully defended his
doctoral thesis in December of 2000.
Alvaro has accepted a position with Chi-
quita Brands International and will be
based in Costa Rica. Congratulations and
keep in touch!!!

Pete Timmer's lab at the CREC, Lake
Alfred, will have two visitors over the
next few months: Natalia Peres and Juan
Pedro Ag ostini.

Natalia Peres, a doctoral candidate at
the University of Sao Paulo in Botucatu,
Brasil will spend from February to July
working on Colletotichum acutatum, the
cause of postbloom fruit drop of citrus.
She is collecting isolates from South
America, Central America, the Carib-
bean, and Florida and will be doing mo-
lecular studies in the laboratory of K.-R.
Chung to determine the population dy-
namics and origin of the pathogen. She
spent several months in Lake Alfred last
year evaluating the activity of benomyl in
control of postbloom fruit drop and the
development of resistance to the fungi-

Juan Pedro Agostini, plant pathologist
at INTA, Montecarlo, Misiones in Ar-
gentina will spend an 8-month sabbatical
in Lake Alfred. Juan Pedro is a former
student in the department and did his
M.S. with Pete on Phytophthora and his
Ph.D. on Colltotrichum, the cause of
postbloom fruit drop. His current re-
search involves investigation of decline
diseases of citrus. He will spend from
March to September conducting research
primarily on the environmental effects
and epidemiology ofmelanose on citrus.

Coffee Break Schedule

Friday Coffee Break

2-16 Kucharek & Song
2-23 PD Clinic & Zettler
3-02 Bartz, Berger & Stiles
3-09 Charudattan & Hiebert
3-16 Gabriel &Jones
3-23 Kimbrough & Rollins
3-30 Kucharek & Song
4-06 Pring & Chourey
4-13 Office Staff
4-20 P.D Clinic & Zettler


Recent Publications

Carrington, M. E., Roberts, P. D., Urs,
N.V.R.R. McGovem, R. J., Seijo, T. E.
and Mullahey, J.J. 2001. Premature Fruit
Drop in Saw Palmettos Caused by Colleto-
trichum gloeospozoides. Plant Disease

Gottwald, T. R., Hughes, G., Graham, J.
H., Sun, X., and Riley, T. 2001 The Cit-
rus Canker Epidemic in Florida: The
Scientific Basis of Regulatory Eradication
Policy for an Invasive Species. Phytopa-
thology 91:30-34

Legard, D. E., Xiao, C. L., Mertely,J. C.
and Chandler, C. J. 2001. Management of
Botrytis Fruit Rot in Annual Winter
Strawberry Using Captan, Thiram, and
Iprodione. Plant Disease 85:31-39.

Seebold, K. W., Kucharek, T. A.,
Datnoff, L. E., Correa-Victoria, F. J., and
Marchetti, M. A. 2001. The Influence of
Silicon on Components of Resistance to
Blast in Susceptible, Partially Resistant,
and Resistant Cultivars of Rice. Phytopa-
thology 91:63-69.

Do you want a nifty source of con-
cise, easy-to-read-and-digest reviews
of current topics in plant protection?
Then look up the Special Issue of the
journal Crop Protection, volume 19,
Nos. 8-10, Sep.-Dec. 2000. This issue
contains about 50 articles based on key-
note talks and papers presented at the
14th International Plant Protection Con-
gress (IPPC) held July 1999 in Jerusalem,
Israel. It is a good source of useful refer-
ences. (R. Charudattan)

Plant pathology on the CBS' 60 Minutes?
Well, not quite. But plant pathology was
on the center stage last October during a
BBC show -- an investigative report ti-
tied, "Britain's Secret War on Drugs."
The show was featured in a program
called the "Panorama," which is some-
what like the 60 Minutes show that is
well known on this side of the Atlantic.
The show was about the use of myco-
herbicides to control the illegal narcotic
plants, coca, opium poppy, and mari-
juana. Since the idea of using fungi to
attack crops of narcotic plants has the
strong support of some U.S. federal
agencies and U.S. scientists, the show's
producers interviewed several bureau-
crats and scientists involved with funding
and research on mycoherbicides, includ-
ing myself. For one morning last August,
my lab was turned into a mini television
studio, and I was asked, on camera, some
"hard-hitting" questions about my views
on "the U.S.-sanctioned biological war-
fare," namely, the possible unleashing of
a coca-killing Fusanum oxysporum over
Colombian forests by air. My interview
ended up, as the saying goes, on the "cut-
ting floor," and except for some silent
video clips taken in my lab, nothing of
what I said was used in the final show --
a blessing indeed as it turns out! Lest I
spoil your curiosity, I'll refrain from
commenting on the show's contents ex-
cept to say that it is worth watching. The
show will be played during a Plant Pa-
thology colloquium session; watch for its
announcement in the Spring Colloquium
Series. To those at the RECs, if you want
to borrow the tape, please fell free to
contact me.

The first couple to be shown in bed to-
gether on prime time television
were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

Every day more money is printed for
Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women;
women can hear & smell better.

The state with the highest percentage of
people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilder-
ness : 28"

The percentage of North America that is
wilderness : 38" ,

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to
the age of eleven : $6,41 11

The average number of people airborne
over the United States at any given hour :

Intelligent people have more zinc and
copper in their hair.

San Francisco cable cars are the only
mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards
represents a great king from history
...Spades King David
...Clubs Alexander the Great
...Hearts Charlemagne
...Diamonds -Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111=

If a statue in the park of a person on a
horse has both front legs in the
air....the person died in battle.

If the horse has one front leg in the
air...the person died as a result of wounds
received in battle.

If the horse has all four legs on the
ground...the person died of natural

Only two people signed the Declaration
of Independence on July 4th : John Han-
cock and Charles Thomson.
Most of the rest signed on August 2...but
the last signature wasn't added

By: Dr. Raghavan Charudattan


.* 1 -



5 years


"I am." is the shortest complete sentence
in the English language.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from
WWII fighter pilots in the
South Pacific. When arming their air-
planes on the ground, the .50
caliber machine gun ammo belts meas-
ured exactly 27 feet, before being
loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots
fired all their ammo at a
target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

Hershey's Kisses are called that because
the machine that makes them
looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived
from an old English law which
stated that you couldn't beat your wife
with anything wider than your

The name Jeep came from the abbrevia-
tion used in the army for the
"General Purpose" vehicle.....( G. P.)

The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II,
moves only six inches for each
gallon of diesel that it bums.

The only two days of the year in which
there are no professional
sports game (MILB, NBA, NHL, or
NFL) are the day before and the day
after the Major League all-stars Game.

The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the
Rosey" is a rhyme about the
plague. Infected people with the plague
would get red circular sores
("Ring around the rosey"), these sores
would smell very badly so
common folks would put flowers on
their bodies somewhere
(inconspicuously), so that it would cover
the smell of the sores ("a
pocket full of posies"). Furthermore,
people who died from the plague
would be burned so as to reduce the pos-

sible spread of the disease
("ashes, ashes, we all fall down").

Biotech Briefs

Molecular plant pathology in the era
of genome sequencing

The publication and analysis of the
sequenced genome of Arabidopsis thalana
in the December 14, 2000 issue of Na-
ture should be of interest to plant biolo-
gists from all fields and specialties. Not
only have detailed articles about each
chromosome been published, but also
the entire December issue of Plant
Physiology reviewed recent work in the
model plant. Reviews and news briefs in
academic journals and laymen science
publications such as Scientific American
have brought the spotlight to plant biol-
The authors estimate that the ge-
nome contains 125 Megabases of DNA
and use computer modeling to predict
that the genome encodes 25,498 genes.
The article analyses the complete ge-
nome, giving plant biologists a grand
view of the potential proteome of an
entire plant species. Between the article
and the sequence database available at
http://www.mips.biochem.mpg.de /proj
/thal/ biologists can search for and find
information like never before. Here I'd
like to highlight some predictions that I
believe are of interest to plant patholo-
gists. The bulk of this information is
discussed in the Recognizing and Re-
sponding to Pathogens section written by
J. Dangl and J.D.G. Jones.
Out of the entire proteome, 11.5% of
the predicted proteins can be classified as
having plant defense-related functions.
This significant number reflects the
amount of resources plants must allocate
to defense, as they cannot flee from envi-
ronmental stresses. Plants, animals, and
yeast contain both similar and dissimilar
signal transduction pathways and defense

generating methods.
For instance, ani-
mals employ mostly

S receptor tyrosine
kinases for general
signals; Arabidopsis
instead has made
more extensive use of serine/threonine
receptor kinases. Upon looking at the
entire Arabidopsis genome, many classes
of proteins are under- or over-
represented when compared to the other
sequenced organisms: Drosophila, Yeast,
and C. elegans.
Essential to defense against patho-
gens is the ability to recognize diverse
pathogens. The Arabidopsis genome en-
codes many polymorphic disease resis-
tance genes at several loci, in order to
distinguish many different pathogens.
The sequencing of the genome allows
identification of potential resistance
genes due to their similarity to known
genes. Through genetic screens, proteins
that have unknown roles in defense can
be found, and then their homologs can
also be analyzed. This will aid in delinea-
tion of the activation pathways for de-
fense mechanisms triggered after patho-
gen recognition.
Through sequencing the entire ge-
nome, the evolution of disease resistance
genes can be studied. It seems that resis-
tance gene evolution occurs through du-
plication and diversification of linked
genes. Most resistance genes occur as
singletons (46), while 50 are in pairs, and
seven are in three-gene clusters. There
are single clusters of 4, 5, 7, 8, or 9 genes.
Resistance genes that occur in gene clus-
ters may be as either direct (-6(1" ,,) or as
inverted (-- 4 .., repeats. Divergence
between linked genes can give rise to new
disease resistance.

The largest class of resistance genes
encodes intracellular proteins with a nu-
cleotide-binding site (NBS) and a C-
terminal Leucine Rich Repeat (LRR)
domain. The variable amino-terminal
carries either a TIR domain or a putative
coiled coil (CC) domain. The Arabidopsis
genome encodes 85 TIR-NBS-LRR re-

distance genes at 64 loci and 36 CC-NBS-
LRR at 30 loci. Seven genes, at six loci,
lack an obvious TIR or CC domain.
There are also 15 TIR-NBS genes and 6
CC-NBS genes; these lack the LRR do-
main. The function of these truncated
proteins in disease resistance is unknown,
but they are often linked to full-length
disease resistance genes.

Other classes of disease resistance
genes involved in recognition or re-
sponse are also known. Another poten-
tial class involved in recognition of the
pathogen is the LRR transmembrane
kinases. There are 174 LRR transmem-
brane kinases encode within Arabidopsis,
however, only one of these has a known
role in disease resistance. These can now
be systematically disrupted and screened
for phenotypes. There are also 122 genes
for LRR proteins without kinase do-
mains. The genome encodes 860 Ser-
ine/Threonine kinases, some of which
may have a role in disease resistance like
the tomato protein PTO.

Proteins that function downstream of
the resistance protein are also known,
such as NDR1, EDS1, and PAD4.
There are 28 additional genes like NDR1
and 3 genes like EDS1/PAD4. LNPR1,
involved in the development of Systemic
Acquired Resistance (SAR) has 5 addi-
tional homologues in Arabidopsis. There
are two LSDI homologues and numer-
ous cysteine proteases. Cloning, charac-
terization and targeted knock-out of
these homologues has the potential to
reveal signal transduction cascades com-
mon to multiple types of resistance.

Through research in other plant spe-
cies, especially those of agronomic im-
portance, numerous resistance genes
have been found. If homologues of
these important resistance genes can be
found and studied in Arabidopsis, the re-
sistance mechanism can be more easily
teased out due to all the available data on
disease resistance in Arabidopsis. Now it
is clear that Arabidopsis does have homo-
logues to other resistance genes, such as


the M/o gene of Barley. These Arabidopsis
genes can be characterized, the signaling
pathways can be worked out, and then
the homologues can be targeted in spe-
cies that have fewer scientific resources.
Now, multiple defense pathways are be-
ing worked on in Arabidopsis, which al-
lows the synthesis of a bigger picture of
disease resistance.
Arabidopsis lacks clear homologues of
many mammalian defense genes and
contains no homologues to genes in
mammals that regulate apoptosis. The
Arabidopsis genome contains homologues
of some of the genes required for the
oxidative burst in mammals, but lacks
others. Therefore, it is possible that de-
fense mechanisms have evolved inde-
pendently since the last common ances-
tor, although in some cases the final
product is similar oxidativee burst, nitric
oxide production). The potential novelty
of the plant defense response increases
the challenge and pertinence of the re-
The sequencing of the genome is an-
other resource for this plant species.
Obviously, not all research can be done
in Arabidopsis, but studies in this model
organism are essential to discoveries im-
portant to all of plant biology. This is the
briefest review of the extensive Nature
article about the sequencing of the ge-
nome. The article is full of interesting
tidbits and observations, and is worth
checking out, available free online at

The Arabidopsis Genome Initiative.
Analysis of the genome of the flowering
plant Arabidopsis thalana. Nature 408,
796-815 ""'1

December 2000 issue of Plant Physiology

Anita Snyder is a M.S. student in the Plant
Molecular & Cellular Biology Program and
works with Dr. Wen-Yuan Song in the De
apartment of Plant P '... Gainesville.

Everybody in the department
knows Lucious Mitchell, but not eve-
rybody knows about the active double
life he leads after hours. Here in Fifield
Hall, during normal working hours,
Lucious works as a Senior Laboratory
Technician, helping us all, doing a myriad
of different tasks, efficiently and without
fanfare. He is especially active on behalf
of our teaching programs by providing
Xeroxing service, keeping the lab in
room 2306 and the library spotlessly
clean and secure, ordering teaching sup-
plies, preparing media, videotaping semi-
nars, and even occasionally providing
limousine service (He has a chauffeur's
license.) But as the sun begins to set, and
the doors of Fifield are locked, an alto-
gether different Lucious emerges as he
begins his other job on the east side of
town in the area surrounding Duval
Elementary School, where he has lived
for most of his life. There, he becomes a
coach, mentor, and role model for chil-
dren ranging in age from 8 to 17. For
almost 30 years, since 1972, he has been
working for the Gainesville Recreation
and Parks Department, first as a volun-
teer and then as a Recreational Aide,
coaching girl's softball, boy's baseball,
basketball, volleyball, and "Pop Warner"
and flag football. Managing such a variety
of sports ensures that Lucious, or "Lou"
to his kids, is busy throughout the year, a
fact that did not elude Michelle Brown,
Sun Staff Writer, who wrote an article
about him in the Gainesville Sun, July 30,
1990, entitled "A Coach for All Seasons."


I -

Lucious, of course, is not just active, but
extremely successful as well. An
entire wall of his home is devoted to the
more than 80 trophies and honors
bestowed upon him through his many
years of service, including the "Man of
the Century" Award he received in June
2000 in recognition for his help in guid-
ing the youth of the local community.
Such recognition, of course, is
well deserved considering the enormous
impact he has made on youngsters he
supervises. Some of his former
protegees include Michael Harris, Ty-
rone Baker, Victor Bradley, Ian Scott,
and Vemell and Johnell Brown, who
now play or once played football for the
Florida Gators and the basketball
stars, Vemon Maxwell and Orion
Green. Football and basketball players in
other schools include Josef McNeal,
Timothy Carter, Willie Powers, Jr.,
Darian Noble, Franklin Young, Leon
Payne, and Elijah Hooker. Many others,
of course, have pursued different careers
and are now prominent citizens of the
community. Last year, one of his former
student athletes, George Burke, estab-
lished the "Lucious J. Mitchell, Jr.,
Foundation," which provides fellow-
ships each year to deserving pre-college
students in the local community.

We all know Lucious as a patient, won-
derfully even-tempered, conscientious,
individual, willing to offer each and
every person in the department with any
help he can provide. But he can be
tough when the occasion demands. He
served for 2 years in the U.S. Army and,

from 1968-1969, was on active duty as a
Sargent, in Vietnam, where he kicked the
cigarette habit (Cigarettes draw sniper
fire, especially at night.). After his stint
abroad, he joined the National Guard
and continued to serve until 1998.
Clearly, The military skills Lucious
picked up in the army are put to good
use as he helps maintain order in the
Kimbrough and Zettler lower division
megacourses with young and captive
audiences as large as 300 or more stu-

Thus, Lucious richly deserves our re-
spect and gratitude for all that he does
during normal work hours, after hours,
on weekends, and throughout the year.
Michelle Brown summed it up nicely in
her newspaper article: "It's 8 p.m., and
Mitchell walks from the football field to
the softball diamond to help coach
Carter's team. The schedule, of course, is
nothing new. He probably won't get
home until 9:30 p.m., he said. A com-
plaint? No. He was smiling."
Lucious and his wife, Betty, have two
children, Kendra and Lamar, and a
granddaughter, Akacia. The following
poem, submitted by his wife, can only
help but to epitomize Lucious' positive
approach towards life:

Drinking From My Saucer

Haven't got a lot of riches, and some-
times the going's tough.
But I have loving ones around me, and
that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings, and the
mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer because my
cup has c'0- i. i. .i

Faculty Profile: Jeffrey Rollins

This month we would like to
acknowledge our new fungal molecular
scientist, Dr. Jeffrey Andrew Rollins. He
joined the plant pathology faculty team

last August of 2000. Dr. Rollins obtained
both his B.S. in biological sciences (1988)
and M.S. in plant pathology (1991) at
North Carolina State University. His the-
sis was entitled: Light inducible and mu-
tational changes in the in vitro translated
polypeptide patterns of Cercospora kikuchi.
He then went to Purdue University
where he received his Ph.D. in plant pa-
thology (1996) working on the charac-
terization of chromosome variability in
Glomeella graminicola. He then obtained a
post-doc position for the next four years
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in
plant pathology working in Dr. M.B.
Dickman's lab.
Dr. Rollins' position is 8'1" re-
search and 21 .. teaching. His research
right now is exploring the basic molecu-
lar mechanisms essential for fungal
pathogenesis. His fungal pathogen of
choice is Sclerotinia scleroorum, and the
idea is to study the factors that allow this
fungus to cause disease and the molecu-
lar signaling pathways that regulate those
factors. S. sclerotiorum secretes high levels
of oxalic acid and numerous cellulytic
enzymes that are essential for
pathogenicity. Since it has been well
documented that oxalic acid and enzyme
production are regulated by environ-
mental pH, it is Dr. Rollins's hypothesis
that pH serves as the signal regulating
genes regulating these and other
processes relating to pathogenesis and
development. Recently Dr. Rollins has
cloned the paci gene in S. sclerotorum,
which encodes a zinc finger-containing
peptide with structural and functional
homology to the Ai.': nidulans pH-
responsive transcription factor PacC. He
is currently working on elucidating this
and other signaling pathways involved in
Sclerotinia pathogenesis and the
downstream gene products activated by
these parolisiy2i "' teaching will be fo-
cused on instructing the course entitled:
Molecular Mechanisms of Plant Patho-
genesis. He is in the process of develop-
ing a complimenting semester long
course with Dr. Song. The idea is that
Dr. Song will teach a semester long
course looking at the molecular mecha-

nisms of host-pathogen interaction from
a host perspective while Dr. Rollins will
teach another course in molecular
mechanisms involving the host pathogen
interaction from a pathogen viewpoint.
On a more personal basis, Dr.
Rollins moved to Gainesville with his
wife Monica, son Andrew (3 years) and
daughter Michaela (1 /2 years). From
March 13-18h, Dr. Rollins will be attend-
ing the Fungal Genetics Conference in
California, where he will be giving a
poster and oral presentation on "In-
volvement of a PacC homolog from

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in sclerotial de-
velopment and virulence."

If you would like to contribute an article,
a short piece, or a suggestion, please mail
us at:

PLP News
1453 Fifield Hall
P.O. Box 110680
Gainesville, FL 32611-0680

Or, you can e-mail us (and attach your
news material) at:



News Team Jan-Feb 2001
Ronald French (Ed.)
Misty Nielsen
Camilla Yandoc
Matt Brecht
F. W. "Bill" Zettler
Anita Snyder

The opinions expressed in this newsletter are not neces-
sarilythose ofthe PLPNens '

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs