* What is Plant Pathology? Facts on Utah.
* Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and colleagues.
From the students of
the Plant P' '
Department to our com-
Volume 5 Issue 3
The NEWSLETTER of the PLANT PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT at the UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA
What is Plant Pathology?
Looking at past and current
books on what is our discipline, one
cannot but marvel at how unique plant
pathology is. According to G.N. Agrios
(1997), plant pathology "is
the study of
microorganisms and of the
&a environmental factors that
cause disease in plants; of the
mechanisms by which these factors
induce disease in plants; and of the
methods of preventing or controlling
disease and reducing the damage it
causes". Thus, one can draw a parallel
with both human medicine and
veterinary medicine. "Each discipline
studies the causes, mechanisms, and
control of diseases affecting the
organisms with which it deals."
J.C. Walker (1957) states "plant
pathology is concerned with the health
and productivity of growing plants.
Disease losses are hazards which can be
minimized only by continuous process
of research and education. It is the
responsibility of plant pathology to
evaluate and solve new disease problems,
to train research investigators and
extension specialists, to brief agricultural
educators and county agents in applied
phases of the science, and to work out
practical procedures which growers can
adapt to their needs."
According to G.C. Ainsworth
(1981), "the terms medicine and
veterinary medicine have, in English, no
generally accepted equivalent for plants.
A human sufferer from an infectious
disease, a nutritional disorder, genetic
abnormality or mental disturbance,
internal or external infestation by
animals, or accidental injury consults a
practitioner of medicine who may refer
the case to a colleague specializing in one
of the numerous subdivisions of
medicine. For diseases and disorders of
plants the position is very different.
Growth defects resulting from lack or
imbalance ofmacronutrients and adverse
effects on growth of other
environmental factors typically fall into
the province of the agriculturalist or
horticulturist, pest infestations into that
of the applied entomologist, while
infectious diseases are the concern of the
plant pathologist (phytopathologist)".
But, in some countries in Europe, plant
pathology includes both diseases and
pests. Further, it is not uncommon for
nematode infestations to be included in
In the United States, the
American Phytopathological Society
(APS) has a more holistic approach to
what is our discipline. The APS simply
defines Phytopathology or Plant
Pathology as "the study of diseases of
plants". Further, the APS states, "Plant
pathology is an interdisciplinary science
that includes knowledge of
crop science soil science,
biology, and physiology."
Since a question tends to lead to
further questions, here are two that
come to mind: 1) What is a plant
disease? 2) What is a pathogen?
Oops, maybe a third question
should be, "What is a plant pathologist?"
Agrios, G.N. 1997. Plant P i,. ... 4t
edition. Academic Press, Inc. New York.
Ainsworth, G.C. 1981. Introduction to the
history of plant irl. ..._ Cambridge
University Press. 315 pp.
APS. 2001. What is PI. r.. .rl,. .1..
Walker, J.C. 1957. Plant P.ir..!.._ 2nd
edition. McGraw-ill Book Company, Inc.
New York. 707 pp.
Faculty, staff, students,
alumni, and colleagues of our
Dr. James "Jim" Kimbrough, Profes-
sor in Plant Pathology, will be the recipi-
ent of a
sented during the Annual Meeting of the
Mycological Society of America in Salt
Lake City, UT, August 25-29, 2001. The
Distinguished Mycologist Award is pre-
sented annually to an individual who has
been outstanding in his/her mycology
career. This is one of the highest awards
to be bestowed by the MSA and is in-
tended to mark a distinguished career.
Recipients of the award are evaluated on
the basis of quality, quantity of their pub-
lished research, and on the basis of ser
vice to MSA or to the field of mycology
Dr. Kimbrough's research has
focused on the taxonomy of fungi, espe-
cially cup-fungi and truffles, in which he
and his postdoctoral and PhD students
have utilized the electron microscope to
examine ultrastructural features of these
and other fungal groups.
Dr. Kimbrough's extension ac-
tivities include providing fungal identifi-
cations for UF faculty, county extension
agents, and Florida growers and home-
owners; consulting and organizing work-
shops on the cultivation of shiitake and
other exotic mushrooms; consulting in
problems with indoor air pollution; and
serving as mycologist for Florida's poi-
son control clinics who have to deal with
poisonous mushrooms. For a bio-
graphical piece on Dr. Kimbrough,
please read the March-June 2001 issue of
The graduate student population will
"explode" due to the arrival of several
new members to our plant pathology
community. The new graduate students
are: Nicole Smith (M.S., Drs. Stiles and
McGovern), Penny Robinson (un-
committed), Eddy Andersen (M.S., Dr.
Strandberg), Karen Chamusco (M.S.,
Dr. Chourey), Ryan Donahoo (M.S.,
Dr. Norman), and Robin Oliver (M.S.,
Dr. Hopkins). Two students will con-
tinue on for their Ph.D. degrees. They
are: Wayne Jurick II (Dr. Rollins) and
Matt Pettersen (Dr. Charudattan).
(Ed. Note: Last we heard, two more
students might be joining us during the
next few weeks. If that is so, we will
update our readers on our next edition
of the PLPNews.)
Dr. Raghavan "Charu" Charudattan
attended a symposium, "The Practice of
Biological Control: Importation and
Management of Natural Enemies in the
New Millennium," spon-
sored by the Intema-
tional Organization for
logical Control Institute,
and others, held at Montana State Uni-
versity, Bozeman, Montana; August 2-5,
2001. About 250 persons from several
countries attended. Presentations, by
invitation only, included biological con-
trol of foliar, root, and post-harvest dis-
eases as well as pathogens used in classi-
cal and bioherbicide approaches to weed
Gina Cory, an undergraduate in our
department, was awarded a Plant Mo-
lecular and Cellular
Biology Research In-
tership to work in
Wen-Yuan Song's lab
for the summer. Gina
worked on mutant
Arabidopsis screens and
the interaction between Pseudomonas syPn-
gae pv tomato and Arabidopsis. Gina is ac-
tive here in the department and is the
President of the UF Fencing Team. She
will continue to work in the Song lab this
semester. Applicants for this internship
are college juniors from around the
world. The award supports the student
for 10 weeks and facilitates the hands-on
learning of plant molecular biology. This
summer, the PMCB program supported
three interns. For more information,
Dr. Francisco Ochoa, a recent graduate
of our department, will receive the Car-
ibbean Division Award at the APS meet-
ing in Salt Lake City from August 24-29,
2001. This award, established through
the generosity of Malcolm Shurtleff, Jose
Amador, and the Caribbean Divison,
recognizes highly qualified students.
Francisco is a native of Vene-
zuela, where he served as a botany pro-
fessor at the Universidad Central de
Venezuela prior to returning to graduate
school. He recently graduated with his
Ph.D. degree in plant pathology under
the guidance of Richard F. Lee. Fran-
cisco is presenting both a talk and a
poster from his dissertation research,
which examined aspects of localization
and transgenic expression of the capsid
protein of Citrus tristeza rirus.
Matt Brecht, a master's student under
the direction of Drs. Kucharek and
Datnoff, was awarded an APS Council
and Foundation Travel award. Matt will
be presenting a poster detailing results
obtained for the control of gray leaf spot
in St. Augustinegrass caused by Mag-
naporthe grisea using a pre-plant applica-
tion of calcium silicate slag.
Dr. Pranjib K Chakrabarty, Senior
Scientist (Plant Pathology) with the Cen-
tral Institute for Cotton Research (Indian
Council of Agricultural
S Research), pi...t India,
has joined Dr Wen Yuan
SSongs' program as a post-
doctoral research associate.
During his stay in the De-
partment, Pranjib will conduct research
aimed at characterizing plant genes and
understanding molecular mechanisms
2 PLP NEWS
3 PLP NEWS
involved in the signal transduction path-
ways for disease resistance. Pranjib is
not a new face to this Department; pre-
viously, he worked as a visiting scientist
with Dr. Dean W. Gabriel for a period
of 20 months from Oct
1994 through June 1996.
The Govt. of India, and
the University of Florida
sponsored his previous
appointment jointly. Working with Dr.
Gabriel, he cloned and characterized two
genes which are required for pathogenic-
ity and virulence from the African strains
of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum.
Findings of this research were published
in the Canadian Journal of \I .....- 'and
S. '. Based on the success of
his research he was awarded a prestig-
ious grant of 35,000,000 (Indian Rupees)
for development of molecular diagnostic
tools for detection and differentiation of
races ofX. a. pv. malvacearum, by the De-
partment of Biotechnology, Ministry of
Science and Technology, Govt. of India.
At the cotton Research Institute he
works basically on the molecular basis of
pathogenicity and race-specificity ofX. a.
pv. malvacearum strains and biological
control of bacterial blight disease of cot-
ton incited by this pathogen. Welcome
Congratulations to Mariadaniela Lo-
pez (M.S., 1999) and her husband,
Rodolfo Vera, on the birth of their son
Sebastian Vera Lopez. Sebastian was
born on August 4, 2001 at 10:45 p.m.
He weighed a healthy 8.5 pounds (3.9
kg) and measured 1' 9" (53cm).
Mariadaniela was a student of Dr. Jane
Polston (Bradenton) and her thesis was
titled "Detection, distribution, incidence,
and impact of dasheen mosaic virus Poty-
vridae in Caladium xhortulanum".
APS Poster Highlight
For those attending the APS
meeting in Salt Lake City, don't forget to
attend the poster sessions. Among the
many posters presented by our faculty,
staff, and students, here's one by one of
our most recent faculty members, Dr.
Isolation of Pythium spp. from
overseeded hermirld-or.s and other
warm-season grasses in Florida. C.M.
STILES (1), L.E. Datnoff (2), and D.J.
Dr. Carol Stiles is vice-chair of
the APS Mycology Committee and is
involved in organizing and moderating a
discussion session, "Strategies for
Teaching Mycology in the Plant Pa-
thology Curriculum" that will be held
Wednesday, August 29th, during the
ing. Carol will
also be help-
ing set up for
workshop on Monday, Aug. 27. As APS
Representative to the Mycological Soci-
ety of America, she has arranged for the
exchange of newsletter columns between
the APS and MSA presidents, published
this summer in T'., ..- '...:. News (APS)
and Inoculum I and will be partici-
pating in the APS Affiliate Representa-
APS 2001 Abstract Highlight
Pettersen, M.S., Charudattan, R., Hie-
bert, E., and Zettler, F.W. 2001. Tobacco
mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV) induces
a lethal hypersensitive response in tropi-
cal soda apple) Solanum varum Dunal).
Yandoc, C.B., and Charudattan, R.
2001. Biological control of cogongrass
(Imperata cyindrical) with fungal patho-
Friday Coffee Break Schedule
08-31 Gabriel &Jones
09-07 Kimbrough &
09-14 Kucharek & Song
09-21 Office Staff
09-28 Pring & Chourey
PD Clinic, Zettler & EM Lab
Bartz, Berger & Stiles
Charudattan & Hiebert
Gabriel & Jones
Kimbrough & Rollins
Kucharek & Song
Charudattan, R. 2001. Biological con-
trol of weeds by means of plant patho-
gens: Significant for integrated weed
management in modem agro-ecology.
BioControl 46: 2229-260.
Pring, D. R., and Tang, H. V. 2001.
Mitochondrial ap6 transcript editing
during microgametogenesis in male-
sterile sorghum. Curr. Gen. 39:371-376.
Roberts, P.D., Urs, R.R., Bolick, L.A.,
and Hert, A. 2000. Efficacy of spray
compounds in the control of late blight
and bacterial spot on tomato. Proc. Fla.
State Hort. Soc. 113:194-197.
Rodrigues, F. A., Datnoff, L. E.,
Kornd6rfer, G. H., Seebold, K. W., and
Rush, M. C. 2001. Effect of Silicon and
Host Resistance on Sheath Blight De-
velopment in Rice. Plant Disease. 85:
Our colleagues, Bob Kemerait
and Kenneth Seebold, at the Plant Pa-
thology Department, University of
Georgia (Tifton), have invited students,
faculty and staff interested in visiting
the Tifton Campus for an unforgetta-
ble Plant Pathology Field Day.
So far, the plan is to meet with
faculty such as Dave Wilson (aflatox-
ins), Alex Csinos (vegetables and to-
bacco), Albert Culbreath p'!'i ir..,
Tim Brenneman '-!'. iii., and pecans),
Ron Gitaitis (bacteriology), Natalia
Martinez-Ochoa (virology), and of
course, Kenny (cotton and vegetable
diseases) and Bob (cotton and peanut
diseases, including nematodes). Fur-
4 PLP NEWS
their, we will visit a commercial vegeta-
ble operation and a peanut field. There
will be plenty of "plant pathology" to
The Trip is scheduled for
Wednesday, September 5th, 2001. A
van will depart at 7:00 a.m. from the
Fifield parking (loading dock side).
Tifton is only a little over 2 hours away
(150 miles on 1-75) and we are ex-
pected to return NO later than 6:30
pm. Those who wish to drive on their
own will be provided with a map and
directions to Tifton. (Lunch will be
provided by the folks at Tifton!!!)
The sign-up sheet for this one-
of-a-kind field trip is taped to the Plant
Pathology Front Office door, 1453
Facts on Utah
Admission to Statehood: January
Bird: American Seagull.
Flower: Sego lily.
Tree: Blue Spruce (Piceapungens)
Area: 84,904 square miles (13th in U.S.A)
Border States: Arizona, Colorado,
Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyo-
Agriculture: Cattle, dairy products, hay,
Industry: Machinery, aerospace, mining,
food processing, electric equipment,
Governor: Mike Leavitt (R)
Lowest point: Beaverdam Creek at
2000 feet above sea level.
Nickname: The Beehive State.
Origin of state's name: Taken from the
name of the Ute Indians, whose name
means "people of the mountains".
Population: 2,233,169 (12/i21 11 "
Topography: High Colorado plateau
cut by brilliantly colored canyons in the
southeast; broad, flat, desert like Great
Basin of the west; the Great Salt Lake
and Bonneville Salt Fats in the north-
west; Middle Rockies in the northeast
running east-west; valleys and plateaus of
the Wasatch Front.
Flag: On a blue field appears the state
seal. In the center of the seal is a beehive,
the state emblem, with a sego lily grow-
ing on either side. The sego lily stands
for peace. The state motto "Industry"
means steady effort. A national flag
shows that Utah supports the United
States. The eagle stands for protection in
peace and war. The date 1847 represents
the year that Brigham Young led a group
of people to the Salt Lake Valley to rees-
tablish in Utah, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter day Saints, also know as
The Mormons. The date 1896 represents
the year that Utah gained admission to
the Union of the United States.
I Scream, You Scream, We All
Scream for Ice Cream
The Plant Pathology Ice Cream
Social was held on Tuesday, August 21,
2001 in Rooms 1306-1308,
SFifield Hall. The "Social"
began at 3:30 p.m. as a
wide assortment of ice
cream flavors were made
available for folks to scoop them up
themselves. At least a dozen toppings
and sprinkles were made available. They
ranged from the traditional whipped
cream, fudge, and caramel, to mixed ber-
ries, cherries, cocunut, and walnuts.
Once the several dozen atten-
dees had helped themselves to a bounti-
ful serving of ice cream and fixings, Dr.
Gail Wisler handed out the traditional
pewter graduation mugs to our most
recent official graduates, Wayne Jurick II
and Angela Vincent. Gail also took the
opportunity to present some of the new
students to our community.
For those who were thirsty after
savoring such a sweet helping of ice
cream, drinks such as sodas, apple juice,
apple cider, grape juice, and water were
The PLP News would like to
acknowledge several students who made
this event possible: Ronald French (co-
ordinator), Fabricio Rodrigues, Yolanda
Petersen, Denise Tombolato, Matt
Brecht, Camilla Yandoc, and Abdul Al-
If you would like to contribute an article,
a short piece, or a suggestion, please
mail us at:
1453 Fifield Hall
P.O. Box 110680
Gainesville, FL 32611-0680
Or, you can e-mail us (and attach your
news contribution) at:
News Team and Collaborators for July-
Ronald French (Ed.)
F. W. "Bill" Zettler
James W. Kimbrough
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are not
necessarily those of the PLPNews ',
PLP News can now be ac-
cessed via the intemet at: