Barn owls...who gives a hoot?
 Barn owls continued from page...
 International focus: Iraqi dignitaries...
 PLP international luncheon
 New focus in PLP Dept.

Group Title: PLP news
Title: PLP news. Volume 8, Issue 2. Fall, 2004.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067320/00024
 Material Information
Title: PLP news. Volume 8, Issue 2. Fall, 2004.
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: Fall, 2004
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067320
Volume ID: VID00024
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
    Barn owls...who gives a hoot?
        Page 1
    Barn owls continued from page 1
        Page 2
    International focus: Iraqi dignitaries visit UF-IFAS
        Page 3
    PLP international luncheon
        Page 4
    New focus in PLP Dept.
        Page 5
        Page 6
Full Text

From the students of the Plant
Department to our community
BPLP NevB Volume 8 Issue 2
Fall 2004

Features: Focus on Extension and Diversity
* Extension Feature: Barn Owls and Crop Protection
* Alert: Soybean Rust Another Gift From Ivan
* International Focus: Iraqi Dignitaries Visit UF- IFAS

Hurricane Memoirs
News from Faculty, Staff, and Students

The Newsletter of the Plant Pathology Department at The University of Florida

Barn Owls... Who Gives a Hoot?
by Whitney Elmore with contributions by Diane Hines of the Florida Wildlife Federation

It seems Dr. Rick Raid is one
individual who cares a lot about
barn owls. Dr. Raid, Professor
of Plant Pathology, at the EREC
(Everglades Research and
Education Center) in Belle
Glade was recently named the
Florida Wildlife Federation's
Conservation Educator of the
Year. The award, presented at
the 67th Annual Conservation
Awards Banquet in Jackson-
ville, FL, is given to those se-
lected by the Federation's
Board of Directors based on
dedication to Florida fish and
wildlife. Dr. Raid's project cen-

Pictured: Jenny Brock (fast P Wt
President), Dr. Rick Raid, and Manley
Fuller (Current FWF President). Photo
courtesy Salvatore Riveccio.

ters on the use of barn owls to
control the rodent population,
which may be detrimental to
crops throughout the region.
Not only does this project pro-
mote crop protection through
rodent control, by utilizing a
natural biological control, but it
also contributes to the conser-
vation of a native species once
on the pest list itself the barn
owl. (cont. on page 2)

Another new plant disease
to impact Florida and US agri-
culture: The Asian soybean
rust, pathogen, Phakopsora
pachyrhizi, apparently rode the
winds of hurricane Ivan from
South America into soybean
production areas of the South-
east. Ray Schneider (Plant
Pathologist, LSU) collected
samples on a Saturday in early
November of 2004. He and
Clayton Hollier immediately

started sending digital images
to USDA-APHIS (Mary Palm,
Mycologist), and by Sunday had
tentatively identified soybean
rust in a research plot at the
Louisiana State University
AgCenter. By Tuesday morn-
ing of that week, scientists with
APHIS confirmed the identity of
the select agent pathogen with
a species-specific PCR proto-
col. The APHIS soybean rust
response team surveyed fields
in Louisiana and bordering Mis-
sissippi. Soybean rust was

identified in four more states in
the following days.The disease
was confirmed in nine states in
the southern region (LA, MS,
AR, FL, GA, AL, SC, TN, and
MO) last year. The majority of
samples were soybeans but
kudzu has been reported with


Soybean Rust in the
South another gift
from Ivan
by Philip Harmon and
Carrie Harmon

Asian soybean rust in two
states including Florida. Rapid
communications, networking of
state and federal agencies, and
diagnosis of this pathogen were
established for P pachyrhizi by
the Southern Plant Diagnostic
Network (SPDN), and members
in all southern states had run
exercise and training programs
to be prepared for such an
event. Asian soybean rust is a
devastating disease in parts of
Asia, South America, and Africa
where the pathogen is endemic.
Soybean yields can be reduced
by as much as 80% when the
disease is severe. In addition
to kudzu, various dry and snap
beans are also known to be
hosts. Several leguminous for-
age crops and ornamentals
such as hyacinth bean, crown
vetch, and lupine are potential
hosts of the pathogen. Pea-
nuts, however, are not suscep-
tible to the Asian soybean rust
pathogen. Disease symptoms
include small tan to brown leaf
lesions that begin on the under-
sides of leaves. Lesions ex-
pand and become visible on
both sides of leaves. Lesions
are most commonly found on
leaves but also can occur on
other above-ground structures.
Brown to tan urediniospores of

the pathogen are released
freely and in great number from
pustules formed on mature le-
sions. Airborne spores can sur-
vive rapid travel of considerable
distances in air currents.
The pathogen cannot
survive cold temperatures as-
sociated with winter in northern
states but is predicted to sur-
vive winter on persistent legu-
minous hosts in Florida and
other Gulf Coast states. One
such host, kudzu, is an invasive
weed common in the South.
Sporulation does occur on the
host, but the disease does not
significantly reduce plant vigor
(unfortunately not a real good
In anticipation of the in-
troduction of this economically
limiting disease to the U.S., the
collaboratively held an Asian
soybean rust meeting for states
in the southern region earlier
last year. States developed
soybean rust response plans
that were followed after the dis-
covery this fall. The state re-
sponse plans and diagnostic
training (traditional and digital)
provided by extension faculty,
IPM, SPDN, and USDA facili-
tated the rapid identification and
smooth state responses. This
fantastic group of folks, in each
state had a plan, and was able
to hit the ground running. The
training and educational efforts
that had been conducted
through SPDN and SRIMP co-
operative efforts helped make
the initial diagnosis and rapid
response as efficient as anyone
had hoped.
The Asian soybean rust
pathogen is on the USDA
APHIS Select Agent List. Al-

though soybeans are not con-
sidered a major crop in Florida,
the potential for this pathogen
to over winter here on legumi-
nous weeds and ornamentals is
reason for concern. Select
agent status carries with it fed-
eral regulatory restrictions and
actions. Such restrictions and
actions limit researchers' abili-
ties and rights to possess and
conduct research with the
pathogen and could potentially
include quarantine and eradica-
tion programs in the future (al-
though currently no plans for
such programs are in place for
this pathogen). For more infor-
mation about Asian soybean
rust, check http://

Barn Owls continued
from page 1

Although the owls are excel-
lent rodent controls, they do
cause harm to buildings, barns,
and pump houses on farms
when nesting. In his program,
Dr. Raid, enlisting the aid of
area school children, widened
the arms of extension to include
property owners and teachers,
was able to begin building barn
owl nesting boxes for distribu-
tion in the Belle Glade and West
Palm Beach areas. Dr. Raid
quickly realized the barn owls
adapt readily to the boxes, lim-
iting their destructive behavior
to structures. Placed along
wetland and cropped areas, the
barn owl boxes are utilized as
teaching tools in area class-
rooms through Dr. Raid's trav-
eling teaching kit. Once pellets

are removed and sterilized from
the boxes, students in science
classes are often able to dissect
and reconstruct entire rodent
skeletons, which not only
teaches them animal anatomy,
but it also enhances their un-
derstanding of conservation as
well as crop protection when
combined with videos and lec-
tures. A "Barn Owl Fact Sheet"
and instructions from Dr. Raid
on the proper construction of
barn owl boxes can be obtained
by contacting Dr. Raid at (561)
993-1564. Further information
concerning the award given to
Dr. Raid, the program, or the
Florida Wildlife Federation may
be obtained at

The Southern Plant Diag-
nostic Network meets Iraqi Ag-
riculturists! Lieutenant Colonel
Ken Rudisill and Colonel Logan
Barbie, both UF/IFAS county
faculty are also reservists with
theArmed Forces of the United
States. Ken is located in Bay
County and Logan at Calhoun
County. Both Ken and Logan
served in Iraq last year as part
of a team of experts who
worked to rehabilitate agricul-
ture and related environmental
areas in Iraq and Afghanistan
(see Impact Vol. 21, No. 1,
2005). This team served as
advisors to the Iraq Ministry of
Agriculture. They provided a
critical liaison with the military
to ensure security for activities
to restart the ministry.

During their time in Iraq,
Ken and Logan met several
members of the Ministry of Ag-
riculture and the University of
Baghdad. As part of their ef-
forts, they arranged a trip to the
University of Florida to estab-
lish a Memorandum of Under-
standing for future
collaborations.One of the stops

pictured: Iraqi dignitaries with Carrie
Harmon andDr. Gail Wisler (front,

in their visit was to our Plant Dis-
ease Clinic (PDC) to learn
about the training and diagnos-
tic activities of the Southern
Plant Diagnostic Network
(SPDN) and the digitally-as-
sisted diagnostics (DAD). Ri-
chard Cullen, PDC Senior Bio-
logical Scientist, gave an excel-
lent demonstration of the DDIS
system to show how DAD can
be used to identify insects,
weeds and pathogens that
cause disease, and the impor-
tance of training for these skills.
Carrie Harmon described the
diagnostic activities that we
have been involved in for sud-
den oak death, soybean rust
and Ralstonia solanacearum.
The group was pleased to see
that our information developed
is readily available on our
SPDN web site. Amanda
Hodges detailed our training
program for First Detectors na-
tionwide and also outlined our

regional entomology program.
Bob McGovern described the
Doctor of Plant Medicine pro-
gram and sent the group back
with information for prospective
students. The group of visi-
tors engaged in discussions of
specific pests, developing a
system like DDIS for digital di-
agnostics in Iraq, and the need
for diagnostic information to be
kept in the public arena for use
nationally and internationally.
Although all were administra-
tors, they had a good grasp of
the importance of rapid identifi-
cation and diagnostic methods
for important arthropod pests
and pathogens that we have in
common. The SPDN is part of
a national program, but our goal
for the future is to network with
our international partners in
agriculture and natural re-
sources. We hope this visit will
be a small start toward that

An agreement, garnered by
UF-IFAS and IMTECH (Institute
of Microbial Technology) offi-
cials was formed to share ex-
change students as well as sci-
entific research ideas and tech-

International Focus:
Iraqi Dignitaries Visit
by Dr. Gail Wisler

UF- PLP Professor
Signs Cooperative
Agreement with
by Whitney Elmore

nologies. Dr. R. Charudattan,
Professor of Plant Pathology at
UF-IFAS is pictured on the far
right, below, signing the agree-
ment along with Dr. Andrew
Ogram, UF Professor of Soil
and Water Science, Amit
Ghosh, IMTECH Director, and
Rakesh Jain, IMTECH Deputy
Director. IMTECH, a biological
laboratory in India, is one of 39
national laboratories which
functions under the Council of
Scientific and Industrial Re-
search. Scientists and students
within the institute are involved
in four major areas of research:
molecular biology and microbial
genetics, cell biology and Im-
munology, protein science and
engineering, and fermentation
technology and applied micro-

The International luncheon,
hosted by the Plant Pathology
Graduate Student Association,
took place on November 17th
2004. It turned out to be a taste
adventure as we toured the dif-
ferent cuisines representing
countries from Australia, Brazil,
Canada, China, Colombia,
Hungary, India, the Mediterra-
nean region, Oman, Panama,
South Africa, Suriname, Thai-
land, and USA were served.
The turnout was fantastic and
a number of students and fac-
ulty from various departments
within Fifield attended. This
event not only exposed every-
one to dishes from around the
world, but also provided an op-

portunity to interact with people
from different countries. The
International Lunch committee
would like to thank everyone
who participated in making this
event such a success.

Hurricane Memoirs
by Dr. Ken Pernezny

The main stress from the
hurricanes has been on the
psyche of the residents of
southern Florida, both within
and outside our discipline of in-
terest The vegetable growers
of the east coast were espe-
cially hard hit. Because of land
constraints, many of the promi-
nent Palm Beach Co. vegetable
growers have been planting
more and more of their early fall
crops up in the Ft. Pierce/Port
St. Lucie area (more and
cheaper land available). These
early plantings were virtually
100% wiped out. Plants were
destroyed, plastic ripped up, ir-
rigation systems compromised,
etc. Most of the guys decided
not to replant, because of mar-
ket windows, chances of frost,
whatever. I understand that the
citrus industry in the Indian
River area also took a hard hit.
We were without power for two
weeks at EREC in Belle Glade
with Frances and suffered sig-
nificant roof damage in Jeanne.
The center is now functioning
more-or-less normally, but
planting schedules are behind
at least a month. We saved 28
years worth of bacterial cultures
(ca. 350 strains) by keeping dry
ice in the cabinet until we got
At home, most of us had

some type of damage, but over-
all, we fared much better than
the Treasure Coast residents.
The biggest problem at our
house was getting anybody out
to do any repairs. I got tired of
taking off early to meet some
repair service and the jerks
never showing up for the ap-
pointment. So two weekends
ago, a friend and I fixed the
damage ourselves in our
daughter's bedroom. I now
know a little about drywall re-
pair and can reasonably
reframe a window. I painted the
room on Veteran's Day, and all
we have to finish is to replace
the carpeting, because of mold.

Departmental News

Kimbrough Nominated
Dr. James W. Kimbrough
has been nominated for the
Academy of Distinguished
Teaching Scholars at the Uni-
versity of Florida. Provost
Colburn announced the cre-
ation of this new program spe-
cifically to recognize faculty who
have excelled as teaching
scholars throughout their ca-
reers. The program serves to
recognize those who provide
the very best educational expe-
riences of our graduate and
undergraduate students. Once
selected, Academy members
will serve for three years on the
Advisory Board of the Univer-
sity Center for Excellence in
Teaching (UCET). Once serv-
ing on the Advisory Board,
members will continue to be a
part of the Academy and will be
called upon periodically to ad-
vise the Administration.

PLP International
by Alana den Breeyen

Drs. Datnoff and Liang

Datnoff Travels to
Dr. Lawrence E. Datnoff
traveled to Beijing, China, 30
November to 6 December,
2004. He was invited by Direc-
tor Liu Tang and Dr. Yongchao
Liang, Soil and Fertilizer Insti-
tute/Institute of Agricultural Re-
sources and Agricultural Plan-
ning, Chinese Academy of Ag-
ricultural Sciences to present
his research findings on using
silicon for plant disease control,
and his understanding on
mechanisms of silicon medi-
ated disease resistance. While
there, he and Dr. Liang dis-
cussed the possibility of orga-
nizing a cooperative silicon re-
search program between their
two institutions. This trip was
sponsored in part by the Office
of International Programs, the
Office for the Dean of Research
and the Chinese Academy of
Agricultural Sciences.
Charudattan in Inter-
national Spotlight
Dr. R. Charudattan par-
ticipated in two prestigious con-
ferences in the United Kingdom
in the fall of 2004. In early Sep-
tember, he was a keynote
speaker in a symposium on
non-native and invasive species
at the annual meeting of the
British Ecological Society held
at Lancaster University. In De-

cember, he gave an invited talk
at the Centennial Meeting of the
Association of Applied Biolo-
gists held at St. Catherine's
College, Oxford University. He
discussed the role of
bioherbicides in managing inva-
sive weeds and reviewed his
research on the use of a viral
pathogen to control tropical
soda apple.

There are two new mem-
bers of the Plant Pathology
Department working in Dr.
Chourey's lab, Qin-Bao (Q.B.)
Li and Mukesh Jain. Q.B. is
from the south of China and
moved to the U.S. 13 years ago.
Before leaving China he got a
B.S. in Botany and a Masters
in Plant Physiology from
Lanzhou University. Prior to
working in this department he
was a scientist in Horticultural
Science, where his wife still
works. They have a daughter
who has just started college at
the University of Southern Cali-
fornia. He moved departments
in October 2004 and is a mo-
lecular biologist in Dr. Chourey's
lab working on analysis of sugar
signaling pathways in develop-
ing maize kernels and protein
biochemistry. He enjoys the
lower population of the U.S., the
convenience of having a car,
the weather, and the pleasant
work environment here. After 13
years away from it though, he
misses Chinese culture and
Mukesh is from New
Delhi, India and has lived in the

U.S. for approximately three
years. He completed his Ph.D.
in Botany from Jawaharlal
Nehru University and followed
that up with a post-doc at the
Weitzman Institute of Science
in Israel. He then moved to the
Agronomy department at UF
and is now a postdoctoral as-
sociate in our department work-
ing on the effect of heat stress
on sugar metabolism during
microsporogenesis in sorghum
and corn. His favorite things
about living in the U.S. are the
comfortable, pleasant work en-
vironment and especially the TV
show "Law & Order." He and his
wife miss Indian food though.
Maria Raquel Silva (Rachel)
is a visiting student from Brazil
working in Jeff Jones' lab.

Student Publications

Wayne M. Jurick II, Martin
B. Dickman, and Jeffrey A.
Rollins. 2004. Characterization
and functional analysis of a
cAMP-dependent protein ki-
nase A catalytic subunit gene
(pkal) in Sclerotinia
sclerotiorum. Physiological and
Molecular Plant Pathology.
64:3. Pp 155-163.

New Faces in PLP
by Carla Burkle

Lisa A. Nodzon, Wei-Hui
Xu, Yongsheng Wang, Li-Ya Pi,
Pranjib K. Chakrabarty, Wen-
Yuan Song. 2004. The ubiquitin
ligase XBAT32 regulates lateral
root development in
Arabidopsis. The Plant Journal.
40:6. Page 996.


Mr. "Uncle" Gene Crawford
retired in October, 2004 after
many years of service at UF-
IFAS in Plant Pathology. Over
the years, Gene worked with
many faculty members and stu-
dents, making him one of the
most well-known faces and
most-liked people in the PLP
Department. Gene was respon-
sible for many important tasks
within the department and his
expertise in many areas makes
him irreplaceable. Gene will be
missed around the department.
He is enjoying retirement by
doing some remodeling at
home and traveling to visit fam-
ily and friends.

Student Section

Plant Pathology students
held a Halloween Party at the

home of Matt Brecht and Aaron
Hert. Among those attending

were PLP students as well as
DPM students. The highlight of
the party was a costume con-
test, with Best Costume
awarded to Jorge, as "the ugli-
est woman in the world" and
Best Make-up to Juan for his
resemblance to "Teen-Wolf."

Members of our department
were recognized at the annual
Holiday departmental breakfast,
December 17, 2004. Three
USPS/Teams awards were
given, the first to Patti Rayside,
who received the USPS Re-
search Award in honor of her
research in the areas of soil-
borne pathology, turf pathology
and Oomycete identification.
Terry Davoli received the USPS
Teaching Award in recognition
of excellence in teaching PLP
6404, Epidemiology of Plant
Diseases, as well as for her
seamless transition from an
applied to a molecular research
program. Jan Sapp, Dana
LeCuyer and Sherri Mizell
shared the USPS Service
Award in recognition of their
Herculean effort to keep our
department functioning during
the transition to PeopleSoft. The
Golden Fish Award was given
to Kris Beckham and Gary
Marlow for their important roles
as move coordinators for the 1 st
and 2nd floors, respectively,
during the Fifield renovation.
Last but not least, Jonathan
Oliver received the Weber
Award for undergraduates. The
graduate student award will be
given at a later date. Congratu-

lations to all of our award recipi-

Contacts and

If you would like to contrib-
ute a short piece, article, or
photo please send submissions
PLP News
1453 Fifield Hall
PO Box 110680
Gainesville, FL 32611

Whitney Colleen Elmore
Assistant Editor:
Abby Guerra
Dr. Gail Wisler
Dr. Ken Pernezny
Dr. Lawrence Datnoff
Dr. Jim Kimbrough
Dr. Philip Harmon
Dr. Jeff Jones
Ms. Diane Hines (FWF)
Alana den Bree'en
Carrie Harmon
Wayne Jurick
Sarah Clark
Lisa Nodzon
Matt Brecht
Carla Burkle.

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email wcelmore@ufl.edu to be
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