A highly effective, virus-based...
 Faculty, staff, students, alumni,...
 T. E. Freeman (1930-2003)
 Drs. Zettler and Berger retire
 SPDN update: what have we accomplished...
 Folks from Plant Pathology Department...
 Pan American Plant Disease Conference...
 Recent publications

Group Title: PLP news
Title: PLP news. Volume 7, Issue 1. December, 2003.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067320/00022
 Material Information
Title: PLP news. Volume 7, Issue 1. December, 2003.
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: 2003
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067320
Volume ID: VID00022
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
    A highly effective, virus-based biological control for tropical soda apple
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and colleagues of our department
        Page 3
        Page 4
    T. E. Freeman (1930-2003)
        Page 5
    Drs. Zettler and Berger retire
        Page 6
    SPDN update: what have we accomplished in 2002?
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Folks from Plant Pathology Department visit citrus nurseries in Brazil
        Page 9
    Pan American Plant Disease Conference 2003
        Page 10
    Recent publications
        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text


* Research on Tropical Soda Apple

* Facts on California

* News from Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and col- Meetings in Plant Pathology


From the students of the Plant '
Department to our community
Volume 7 Issue 1


A Highly Effective, Virus-Based Biological

Control for Tropical Soda Apple
by Drs. R. Chardattan and Erest Hiebert

Sa e tropical soda
ma rum
Dunal) is a
weed" that
is posing a serious threat to Florida's
cattle industry, agriculture, and natural
areas. TSA is a native of southern Brazil,
Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina. It
has been aptly named the "Plant from
Hell" due to its harmful, thorny nature
and the capacity literally to "take over"
infested lands within a short period of
time. Left unchecked, it can form dense,
thorny, impenetrable thickets. TSA oc-
curs throughout Florida and parts of
Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi; in
Florida, it infests over 750,000 acres.
Calf, beef, and dairy industries are espe-
cially vulnerable to the economic and
environmental damages from this weed.
Pastures infested with TSA can cause
the stocking rates to be lowered (fewer
animals per acre) due to reduced pastur-
able area. Although the plant's foliage is
unpalatable because of the presence of

numerous sharp thorns, the fruit is con-
sumed by livestock, wildlife, and birds.
In addition to these agents of seed
dispersal, TSA is also spread by con-
taminated hay, grass seed, and sod pro-
duced in TSA-infested areas. TSA seed
is highly viable even after passage
through the animals' digestive tracts and
serves as the principal means of spread
and increase in TSA populations. Since
cattle shipped out of state can help dis-
seminate the weed, the states neighbor-
ing Florida are demanding action to stop
further spread this weed.
The current management practices
include repeated mowing and applica-
tion of chemical herbicides. Although
these methods provide acceptable con-
trol of TSA on an interim basis, cheaper
and safer methods are urgently needed
for long-term management.

A Biological Control: During a routine
examination of several fungal, bacterial,
and viral pathogens as biological control
agents for TSA, we discovered that To-
bacco mild green mosaic tobamovirus
(TMGMV), a common, indigenous
plant virus, evokes a systemic hypersen-

sitive response in TSA, completely kill-
ing the infected plant. Matt Pettersen, a
former M.S. student, who worked on
this project, demonstrated that TSA
plants from seedling to mature stages
could be killed following manual inocu-
lation with TMGMV. Typically, the in-
oculated plants develop foliar local le-
sions, epinasty, systemic necrosis of
leaves and petioles, and systemic wilting
in rapid succession within 7-21 days
after inoculation. In susceptible tobacco
plants (Nicotiana tabacum, cultivar nn
Samsun), TMGMV, true to its name,
causes a mild systemic mosaic on the
leaves. In resistant tobacco plants (culti-
var NN Samsun), it causes hypersensi-
tive local lesions on the foliage. Matt
Pettersen showed that TSA is also sus-
ceptible to Tomato mosaic tobamovirus and
Tobacco mosaic tobamovirns (TMV U1),
which, unlike TMGMV, induced only
mosaic and/or mottle symptoms on
TSA. Robert McGovern, Jane Pol-
ston, and Jeff Mullahey have reported
that TSA is a field host to at least six
plant viruses, including Tomato mottle
begomoirus and Potato potvirs Y. TSA is
also a host to Alternaia solani and Colo-


rado potato beetle. Thus, it is a potential
reservoir of these economically impor-
tant pathogens and insect. Unlike these
pathogens and the beetle that do not
necessary kill TSA, TMGMV kills this
plant rapidly and completely, thereby
minimizing or precluding infected TSA
from being a reservoir of TMGMV.

Highly Effective Results in the Field:
We have field-tested TMGMV in pas-
tures at eight locations in central and
south Florida. These trials, done at the
invitation of cooperators, were intended
to develop application methods and to
gather preliminary efficacy data. Inocu-
lum for these trials was produced in a
greenhouse in systemically susceptible
N. tabacum nn Samsun. It was prepared
as an extract from infected leaves and
stored frozen until use. Suitable dilutions
of this inoculum were prepared on site
in the field and applied.
Typically, TMGMV provided 80 to
99% control (weed-kill) in these trials.
TSA plants of different sizes and ages
were killed without regrowth. Fruit de-
velopment and seed production were
not affected if the fruits were fully ma-
ture at the time of virus inoculation.
However, fruits that were immature at
inoculation failed to develop further and
shriveled or rotted away.
Among the field-application meth-
ods we have tested, the most effective
were: 1) abrade-and-spray application
done by dragging a section of chain-link
fence or a piece of carpet and simulta-
neously spraying the inoculum with a
tractor-mounted spray boom (Fig. 1); 2)
high-pressure (>200 psi) spraying; and
3) application with a wiper applicator.
Jim DeValerio (Senior Biologist), who
manages and carries out the field trials,
has customized the wiper application
system for this work. With this applica-
tor, we are able to use the virus at a rate
of 1 gallon per acre compared to the 50-
gallons-per-acre rate used for chemical
An exciting feature of this viral bio-
herbicide is that full foliar coverage is


Figure 1. Jin DeValerio, Mark Elli-
ott, and two cooperators assembling
and testing chain-link and carpet ap-
plication devices at the Lykes Bros.
ranch near Sebring.

not required to obtain high levels of
weed kill; exposure of just a few leaves
per plant is sufficient to kill the whole
plant (Fig. 2). Full foliar coverage is a
typical requirement for chemical herbi-
cides. Furthermore, the efficacy of
TMGMV is not constrained by tempera-
ture and moisture conditions in the field,
but the plants must be growing and
physiologically active at the time of virus
application. These conditions are hardly

Figure 2. "Before-and-after" pictures of
a TSA plant inoculated with TMGMV.
The plant wilted ca. 14 days after inocula-
tion with TMGMV and subsequently

difficult to obtain in the field.

TMGMV is a mechanically trans-
mitted virus that spreads through physi-
cal contact between infected and healthy
plants, often aided by contaminated ag-
ricultural tools. TMGMV is not known
to be seed-bome and the members of
the Tobamovirus group are not insect-
transmitted in that they do not depend
on a specific insect-vector relationship
for transmission.
Nonetheless, as part of risk-analysis,
Sarah Clark, a Ph.D. student, will be
examining the potential for mechanical
dissemination of TMGMV by three ar-

thropod species. One of the insects she
will study is a chrysomelid, Gratiana bo-
iviana from South America that has
been released in Florida to control TSA.
Sarah Clark will also study the impact of
the use of TMGMV on this beetle's ef-
fectiveness as a biocontrol.

Host-range of TMGMV: From pub-
lished literature, it is known that
TMGMV infects at least 15 plant species
in four families, Solanaceae, Apiaceae,
Chenopodiaceae, and Lamiaceae. Stud-
ies done by Bill Zettler and Julie Na-
gel (Julie Ploetz) established that the
virus is quite prevalent in nursery-grown
plants of the Gesneriaceae family.
As part of risk-analysis, we have
undertaken the most extensive host-
range study to date of TMGMV. The
results from this study, which has been
managed and carried out by Mark Elli-
ott (Senior Biologist), indicate that
TMGMV is a pathogen primarily of
plants in the Solanaceae family. Among
the plants screened (376 in 155 genera
and 53 plant families), the majority of
suscepts were solanaceous plants.
Twenty one plants in 12 other families
were also systemically infected. Only
Capsicum spp. and Nicotiana tabacum de-
veloped hypersensitive systemic necrosis
comparable to that seen on TSA. To-
mato, eggplant, and several other plants
in Solanaceae were immune or resistant

Characterization of TSA's Response
to TMGMV: Localized foliar necrosis is
the most common virus-induced hyper-
sensitive response in plants; hypersensi-
tive plant death, as seen in the TSA-
TMGMV system, is a rare phenomenon.
Therefore, we are interested in charac-
terizing the genetic and physiological
basis of this hypersensitive plant death.
As a first step, Jonathan Horrell, an
M.S. student, is attempting to identify
the viral gene that elicits the wilting re-
sponse in TSA. This information may
then be used to characterize the physio-
logical mode of action that triggers plant



We now plan to petition the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency for
an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) to
test and gather data needed to register
the virus as a bioherbicide. The EUP
will allow us to do larger field trials using
realistic, commercial conditions.
This work would not be possible
without the excellent cooperation from
ranchers and county extension person-
nel, especially Mr. Ed Jennings (Sum-
ter County), Mr. Joe Walter (Brevard
County), and others. Funding for this
work is provided by the Florida De-
partment of Agriculture and Consumer
Services and UF/IFAS Center for
Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Dr. Rich-
ard Gaskalla, DPI, and the Tropical
Soda Apple Taskforce are acknowledged
here for their interest and support.

Facultd, staff, students, alunni,
and colleagues in our depart-

to Fabricio
Rodrigues (left)
and Ronald
French (right)
who won, re-
spectively, the first and third place in the
Student Paper competition during the
Pan American Plant Disease Meeting
held in South Padre Island, Texas on
April 2003.

After 15 years of
conducting research
on the epidemiology
and control of foliar
and soilbome dis-
eases of rice, turf
and vegetables at
the Everglades Re
search and Education Center, Dr. Law-
rence E. Datnoff is transferring to the
Department of Plant Pathology in
Gainesville in January 2 "1 4. In his new
position, Dr. Datnoff will be focusing

on soilborne diseases and will continue
with his silicon nutritional studies for
suppressing plant diseases. Dr. Datnoff
will be involved with the departmental
teaching pro-
gram. Wel-
come Dr.

Carrie La-
paire, a New England native trans-
planted to Indiana, spent the last year as
a USDA-ARS laboratory technician in
the Corn and Sorghum Pathology Labo-
ratory at Purdue University. Her primary
focus on research included analysis of
genes involved in the biosynthesis of a
phytotoxin produced by Cercospora zeae-
maydis. She obtained her MS degree un-
der the guidance of Dr. Larry Dunkle,
focusing on microcycle conidiation of C.
zeae-maydis on maize. During her time at
Purdue, she also worked in the Plant
and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory. She
anticipated an exciting career shift as the
Plant Pathology Coordinator for the
Southern Plant Diagnostic Network in
our Department.

Dr. Jeffrey Jones gave lectures to a
group of students interested in plant
breeding at the Universidade Estadual
do Norte Fluminense (UENF) in Cam-
pos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. His lectures focused on patho-
genic variation within Xanthomonas
campestrn pv. vesicatonia and the implica-
tions in developing breeding programs.
Dr. Jones was invited by Dr. Rosana
Rodrigues who is an associate profes-
sor at that University.

SDr. Phil Harmon
is a native Hoosier
(person from Indi-
ana). He attended
Purdue University
where he earned a
Ph.D while study-
ing Plant Pathol-
ogy. His Ph.D pro-
ject focused on the gray leaf spot disease

of perennial ryegrass and involved ap-
plied plant pathology, molecular biology,
and participation in extension education
activities with turfgrass managers. Dr.
Phil Harmon started as an assistant pro-
fessor in our department to address ex-
tension and research objectives in the
areas of turfgrass, ornamentals, and
small fruit pathology. He said that he
looks forward to the change from a
Boilermaker to a Gator. Welcome Dr.

-Amanda Hodges
has both a B.S. de-
gree (in Biology)
and a Ph.D. from
the University of
Georgia. Her Ph.D.
in Entomology,
S"The Life History
of Poistes metricus
Say: Study of Behavior and Parasitic
Natural Enemies", was completed in
December 2'" '2 As a graduate student,
she held various teaching assistant posi-
tions including courses in agricultural
entomology, integrated pest manage-
ment, pesticide management and utiliza-
tion, general entomology, insect natural
history, medical entomology, and an
introductory biology course. She also
had numerous leadership and organiza-
tional activity opportunities. She served
as the Vice President/Outreach Coordi-
nator (1998-1999) for the student ento-
mology club and as a representative for
the University of Georgia, Southeastern
Branch of the Entomological Society of
America Student Affairs Committee
(1999-2001). Prior to completion of her
degree, she participated in life history
research involving the plum curculio in
middle Georgia peaches and host pref-
erence research on the noxious bamboo
mealybug. During February of 2003, she
began writing a book on the insect galls
of Florida in collaboration with Dr. Russ
Mizell and Dr. Eileen Buss of the Uni-
versity of Florida. This book is in the
editing process for publication and sale
through the University of Florida's Insti-

tute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
During the summer of 2003, she also
had the opportunity to teach an under-
graduate/graduate level course in field
invertebrate biology in the University of
Florida's Entomology and Nematology
Department. She is now working with
the SPDN and NPDN in order to pro-
vide better protection for our nation's
agriculture from exotic pests.

Dr. D. P. "Pete" Weingartner
was recognized as an Honorary Life
Member of the Potato Association of
America during the 87th Annual Meeting
in August 2003 for his extensive re-
search and extension program in potato
disease and nematode management.
Congratulations Dr. Weingartner.

Dr. Jane
Polston is a
plant virolo-
gist and has
been with the
University of
Florida since 1991. She established a
research program at the Gulf Coast Re-
search and Education Center in Braden-
ton, FL (on the West Coast of Florida)
on viruses of vegetables and ornamen-
tals. In late September 2003 she relo-
cated from Bradenton to our Depart-
ment in Gainesville.
Her research program is spread
among several areas right now; one area
is the development of transgenes that
can generate broad-spectrum resistance
to begomoviruses in tomato, another is
characterizing the gene silencing which
is elicited by transgenes which have a
begomovirus Rep gene. Another area of
research is the identification of new be-
gomoviruses; we have found several
new begomoviruses in Florida, the Car-
ibbean, and South America and are in
the process of identifying their genomic
sequences and host ranges. Her lab is
also working on identifying the sequence
of a hammerhead viroid that was identi-
fied as the cause of grassy tuber of cala-
dium. As for her teaching program, she


will be responsible for Plant Virology
beginning next fall semester.
Dr. Polston will be leaving the sec-
ond week of December to begin a 3
month sabbatical at Hebrew University
in Tel Aviv, Israel with Dr. Hanokh
Czosnek. There she will be learning
about whitefly genomics, working with
Dr. Moshe Lapidot on TYLCV resis-
tance in tomato, and teaching a 6 week
class in begomoviruses.

Dr. Rosana
Rodrigues as-
sociate profes-
sor and geneti-
cist (center) at
the Universi-
dade Estadual do Norte Fluminense
(UENF) in Campos dos Goytacazes,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is doing a sabbati-
cal with Dr. C. Eduardo Vallejos
(right) in the Horticultural Sciences De-
partment and with Drs. Jeff Jones (left)
and Bob Stall in the Plant Pathology
Department. While at UF, she is work-
ing on bacterial spot resistance in pepper
and also plans to be involved in similar
work on tomato. Her research at UENF
focuses on vegetable crops and bean
breeding with emphasis on disease resis-
tance; genetic resources in vegetable
crops with emphasis on morphoa-
gronomic characterization, genetic di-
vergence studies and evaluation for dis-
ease resistance; and maintenance of a
vegetable germplasm bank. Dr. Rodri-
gues has also been quite extensively in-
volved in administration at UENF.

Many students joined the Plant Pa-
thology Department during the Fall of
2003. Sarah Clark is working with Dr.
Charudattan. Moyi Li, from China, is
working with Dr. Rollins. Jeff Kaesberg
is under the guidance of Drs.
Strandberg, Polston and Hiebert. Jason
Hong is Dr. Dr. Tim Momol and Jones'
student. Amandeep Kahlon is working
with Dr. Brlansky. Chris Rasmann is
working with Dr. Chellemi Graham.
Francis Tsigbey is Dr. Marois's stu-
S Dent. Wel-



come to our Department!

Dr. Fanny Iriarte has recently joined
our department as a postdoctoral associ-
ate with Drs. Tim Momol and Jeff B.
Jones. Dr. Iriarte, who is originally
from Bolivia, recently completed her
Ph.D. at Kansas State University under
the guidance of Dr. Ned Tiserat. Her
dissertation was titled "Genetic diversity
and aggressiveness of Ophiophaerella kor-
rae, one of the casual agents of spring
dead spot of Bermuda Grass". Dr.
Iriarte will be working on IPM strategies
for control of bacterial spot of tomato.

Graduate and

students from
the course
of Plant Pa-
thology got extra credit by showing up
at Jennifer Gillett's house in costume
during Halloween. Jennifer is a TA in
PLP3002/5005 this year and teaches all
the labs with the help of Jennifer Cook,
Sarah Clark and Whitney Elmore.

1 Adriana
Matt Brecht
and Yolanda
Petersen dur-
ing the Hal-
loween party at Aaron and Matt's house.
Several students from the Plant Pathol-
ogy Department and the Plant Medicine
Program attended this exotic party.

Congratulations to Alba Nava,
Jennifer Gillett and Yolanda Petersen
who recently received their Ph.D. from
our department. Congratulations also to
Penny Robinson, Misty Nielsen and
Hamed Al-Aqeel who earned their
M.S. this Fall too.

Dr. Natalia Peres is
a new assistant pro-
fessor in our de-
partment. She will be
located at the Gulf

6 -M_'"idWO07

Coast Research and Education Center in
Dover, FL and will address research on
strawberry diseases. Dr. Natalia is from
Santos, SAo Paulo, Brazil. She received
her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the Uni-
versidade Estadual Paulista in Botucatu.
During her M.S., she worked on the
characterization of isolates of Colleto-
trichum that causes post-harvest anthrac-
nose in avocado, banana, guava, papaya
and passion fruit. Her Ph.D. focused on
the epidemiology and control of post
bloom fruit drop in citrus caused by the
fungus Colletotichum acutatum.

Congratulations to Fabricio Rod-
rigues and Glenn Colburn who re-
ceived, respectively, the Caribbean Divi-
sion Award and The Zahir Eyal Award
to attend the APS 2003 Annual Meeting
in Charlotte, NC.

Congratulations to Jonathan Hor-
rell for getting his picture and write-up
accepted for as the APSnet Image of the
week in November.

Color break symptoms on flowers of flower-
ing tobacco (Nicotiana sanderae cv. Avalon),
caused by Tobacco mild gren mosaic virus
(TMGMV; genus Tobamovirus). Inset shows a
flower from a noninfected plant of the same

T. E. Freeman (1930-2003)

Dr. Thomas Edward (Ed) Freeman,
plant pathologist and turf grass special-
ist, died on Tuesday, September 16,
2003 in Gainesville, Florida, at the age of
Ed was a native of Mississippi,
where he attended primary and secon-
dary schools. He received his Bachelor
of Science Degree in Biology from Mill-


sap College in 1952. Ed earned his MS
and Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology in
1954 and 1956, respectively, after which
he joined the faculty of the University of
Florida's Plant Pathology Department.
Ed served the University in the capaci-
ties of Assistant, Associate and Profes-
sor of Plant Pathology, Acting Depart-
ment Chairman, and Acting Assistant
Dean for Research.
Although holding teaching and ex-
tension assignments at various times, his
primary efforts have been in basic and
applied research in two areas, 1) Elucida-
tion of the etiology, occurrence, and
control of turfgrass diseases and 2) Bio-
logical control of weeds '.i nill
aquatic) with plant pathogens.
From 1980-1992, Ed coordinated
the UF/IFAS turfgrass program. In that
capacity, he worked closely with the
turfgrass industry through the Florida
Turfgrass Association. In 1985, this
group honored him with their highest
award, the coveted 'Wreath of Grass."
In 1992 they further honored him with a
special achievement award "To honor a
career of distinguished service to Flor-
ida's turf industry through his contribu-
tions of research and education." After
he retired, he built a cactus-growing
hobby into a "beer money" enterprise.
He also was an avid saltwater fisherman
spending much of his time in Cedar
Key, Florida.
Dr. Freeman was a positive influ-
ence on the lives of his students. In not-
ing those influences, former graduate
students Drs. Michael T. Olexa, Direc-
tor of the Agricultural Law Center at the
University of Florida and Raymond D.
Martyn, Jr., Chair of the Botany and
Plant Pathology Department at Purdue
University stated that he allowed them
the freedom to explore many avenues of
research, which helped nurture the crea-
tive spirit of good scientists and educa-
tors. Both agreed that one of the most
important lessons they learned from
their mentor was that you're never too
old to learn. He always expected his stu-
dents to do more and learn more than

he did. Ed Freeman was never ashamed
to admit that he didn't know something
and was eager to learn about a new tech-
nique or result.
Both aforementioned students have
applied his philosophy of learning to
their own students and career develop-
ment. To these and other former stu-
dents, he was a quiet man, a great man,
and a good friend and mentor. Dr.
Freeman is survived by his wife of 50
years, Ruth Imogene (Gene); son Tho-
mas Harrell; daughter Roxane Ethel
McGinnis; brother, Barry Freeman;
grandchildren, Whitney and Mason

Things to think about

God gave us two ears but only one
mouth. Some people say that's because
He wanted us to spend twice as much
time listening as talking. Others claim it's
because He knew that listening was
twice as hard.

During my second year of graduate
school our professor gave us a pop quiz.
I breezed through the questions until I
read the last one. "What is the first name
of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had
seen the cleaning woman several times,
but how would I know her name? I
handed in the paper, leaving the last
question blank. Before the class ended,
one student asked if the last question
would count toward our grade. "Abso-
lutely", the professor said. "In your ca-
reers you will meet many people. All are
significant. They deserve your attention
and care, even if all you do is smile and
say hello." I've never forgotten that les-

One of the most lasting pleasures
you can experience is the feeling that
comes over you when you genuinely
forgive an enemy whether he or she
knows about it or not.

If opportunity does not knock,
build a door.

The best way to forget your own
problems is to help someone else solve


Drs. Zetder and Berger Retire

At "high noon", June 24, 2003, the
Plant Pathology Department "paid trib-
ute" to two retiring faculty that had be-
come departmental legends in terms of
service, research and teaching. There is
no truth to the rumor that their col-
leagues really felt they had become leg-
ends in their own mind. Richard
"Dick" Berger and Francis "Bill"
Zettler officially retired at the end of
June. Their colleagues honored them
with a potluck lunch and a roast that
featured highlights of their careers in-
cluding photos of their successful ex-
ploits and comments from former and
current students, colleagues, and USPS
Dick Berger was honored for his
contributions to epidemiology, including
teaching, research and mentoring stu-
dents. Dick was a "follower" in the
sense of being a "true believer". He fol-
lowed epidemics of plant disease, stu-
dents to Brazil, and, of course, golf balls
played over some of the most scenic and
interesting golf courses around the

Dr. Richard D. Berger (center), wife
Joyce (right) and long-time biological scien-
tist Terry Davoli (left).

His service as an interim depart-
ment chair and editor of many scientific
journals was lauded. As an editor for
journals and for his colleagues, Dick
developed a reputation for trimming the
fat from verbose text. His efforts were
affectionately, and sometimes not so
affectionately, known as to "bergerize"
as in my manuscript has just been ber-

gerized. As one who has had many
manuscripts "bergerized", I simply say
to Dick "thanks" followed by "sorry if I
didn't always express appreciation for
your help".
Bill Zettler, a current teaching icon,
has morphed from a virologist and wa-
ter weed control specialist to become an
inspirational salesman for the science of
Plant Patholovy.

Roast master, Dr. Jerry A. Bartz (left) and
Dr. Francis "Bill" Zettler.

As one current graduate student
brightly remarked, "I want to be Bill
Zettler when I grow up"! People who
have crossed paths with Bill throughout
the years contributed insights into his
career which began as a rather envious
and little known graduate student at
Cornell ( i .'l,,.I' Cl.ii always got invited
to the better parties"), to a virologist at
the "plant virus complex" (a rather
shabby collection of wooden, temporary
buildings located on the wrong side of
Lake Alice), to international virus con-
sultant in tropical wet lands where he
became affectionately known by Rambo
Zettler as a "boss" that sent USPS em-
ployees on collecting trips to places
where slithery, creepy crawly things
lived, to his current status as teacher
extraordinaire and departmental sex
symbol. Bill used to say that he regularly
received "anonymous" comments on
course evaluation forms such as "It's
really hard for me to sit in this class
without having sexual fantasies about
Dr. Zettler. His passion for Plants,
Plagues, and even people makes my
body tingle all over".
After comments from the assem-
bled "roasters," the "roastees" had their
chance to set the record straight. Dick

Berger, as is his gentlemanly fashion,
declined. Interestingly, during the roast,
Dick did direct a telling salvo that ques-
tioned the intelligence of the roast mas-
ter. On the other hand, Bill Zettler as-
sembled a list of comments. He accused
colleague Jim Kimbrough of being
from a line of Mississipians who were
responsible for the Civil War-related
amputation of the most important digit
for a New Jersey citizen. After the battle,
the wounded Zettler could no longer
gesture his displeasure or otherwise
communicate and, subsequently, passed
away a broken spirit. There is no truth to
the rumor that the New Jersey Zettler
was gesturing his opinion of the Missis-
sipian's marksmanship when the telling
shot ripped off part of his hand includ-
ing the middle finger. Bill Zettler then
related his view of the rest of the assem-
bled colleagues, students, USPS workers,
and APS workers. No one was spared!!!
Daryl Pring, whose office was next to
Bill's for so many years, best summoned
up the feelings in the room by shouting
"free at last".

SPDN Update: What have we
accomplished in 2003?

The National Plant Diagnostic
Network (NPDN) consists of 5 regional
diagnostic network centers including the
Northeast (NEPDN), North Central
(NCPDN), Great Plains (GPDN),
Western (WPDN), and Southern
(SPDN) regions. The University of Flor-
ida, Department of Plant Pathology,
coordinates the SPDN, which includes
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Fund-
ing for this program was provided as a
result of recent terrorist attacks on the
United States to: (1) establish a secure,
regional network for the detection and
diagnosis of plant health problems, (2)
provide sound public policies and re-
sponse strategies, (3) provide leadership
and training to "first detectors" on na-


tional and regional levels, and (4)
strengthen our diagnostic and response
capabilities. Although many plant pa-
thologists would agree that we are al-
ready doing this as part of our routine
responsibilities, as our National Program
Leader for CSREES, Kitty Cardwell has
said "this is not business as usual".
Although the funding was provided
by CSREES '1111 .iI per region), the
national coordinators (UF, Cornell, U
Michigan, Kansas State University, and
UC-Davis) were given the responsibility
to decide how to fulfill our responsibili-
ties. Although the land mass, number of
states, and cultural practices may vary
between regions, we all are working in
concert to protect our nation's agricul-
ture. In the SPDN, each state was given
subcontracts of :44,000 for their plan of

The network: The first step is for our
diagnostic clinics in each region to be
networked, the "N" of the NPDN. Dr.
Howard Beck, our co-PI in Ag and Bio
Engineering at UF, has done a fantastic
job of linking all the clinics into the
SPDN database. Our goal is for all
clinic data to be transmitted to the Na-
tional Agricultural Plant Information
System (NAPIS) at Purdue. Howard
along with his colleague, Dr. J. Xin and
our graduate student Min Zhong
worked together to accomplish this feat.
This was extremely challenging since 8
of 12 states were already using unique
database programs that they were using.
Additionally, Puerto Rico did not have
digital diagnostic capabilities or a worka-
ble database. The Ag and Bio Engineer-
ing collaborators at UF along with all of
the Information Technologists in each
state worked together to solve these
problems for the SPDN. Currently, all
southern states are connected and able
to transmit information to the regional
center. Soon, we expect to have Puerto
Rico networked as well.

Education of "First Detectors": Dr.
Gail Wisler, the southern regional co-

ordinator, was designated as the national
subcommittee chair for NPDN training
and education of "first detectors", i.e.,
our county agricultural agents and pri-
vate crop consultants. Dr. Tim Momol,
as well as numerous collaborators in all
the regions have been instrumental in
these developments. This too was a
daunting task, as most plant pathologists
are not well versed in the current educa-
tional technologies and program design.
We decided that our goals for first de-
tectors were to: (1) have an increased
awareness of NPDN mission (2) be able
to recognize something new (3) respond
properly to a new introduction, (4) sub-
mit a quality and secure sample, (5)
demonstrate proper use of digital imag-
ing for diagnosis, and (6) be able to train
others (>25,000 extension educators
nationally). As a result, we have coordi-
nated the following training modules
based on these objectives:
NPDN Mission and Biosecu-
The Art and Science of Diag-
Quality and Secure Sample
Monitoring for High
Risk/Unknown pests
Digitally Assisted Diagnosis

Our plan is to "roll out" our train-
ing modules this spring to at least 2,500
extension educators nationally.

Diagnostics and Drills: Based on the
list of 10 high risk pathogens published
by the USDA, the NPDN started the
process of establishing "expert labs"
throughout the United States. These labs
are certified to diagnose a particular
pathogen according to the methods used
by USDA-APHIS in Beltsville, MD.
Dr. Pam Roberts was one of several
extension specialists nationwide who
was trained in the morphological charac-
teristics and molecular diagnostics for
Phakopsora pachyriz, the causal agent of
soybean rust, at the quarantine facility at
Ft. Detrich, MD. Soybean rust (SBR)

was chosen as the first pathogen to
study because of its high probability of
introduction into the U.S. Our clinic
staff in Gainesville will purchase a real-
time PCR and will be trained to perform
the SBR diagnostics. On a local level,
Dr. Bob McGovern has worked with
SPDN diagnosticians to establish a list
of pests and pathogens that are repre-
sentative of concerns in the southern
In addition to the diagnostics, dry-
runs, drills or "scenarios" have been
conducted among several states nation-
wide for SBR. This begins with an ex-
tension agent bringing in a suspect SBR
sample to a diagnostic clinic. This proc-
ess sets off a chain of communications,
and the sample is FEDEX'ed or driven
to the USDA-APHIS diagnostic lab in
Beltsville, MD. In this case, Dr. Mary
Palm, the USDA mycologist, and Dr.
Laurene Levy, in charge of biochemical
and molecular analyses, are responsible
for SBR diagnosis. This sets up a series
of phone calls between state and federal
regulatory agencies. In many instances,
some of the land grant, state, and federal
groups have not previously communi-
cated. Initiating these lines of communi-
cation is an essential component of ad-
dressing a potential agricultural emer-
gency. This was an eye-opening process
for many of those individuals involved,
and provided us with an excellent pre-
paratory exercise.

More than just plant pathology: Al-
though plant pathogens have been the
focus of the network, we must remem-
ber that insects, nematodes and weeds
are also significant threats to our agricul-
ture, whether by accidental or intentional
introduction. As a result, we have made
presentations at APS and the ESA (En-
tomological Society of America) to
"raise awareness" and generate interest
from our colleagues. In addition, to
support the huge effort that this pro-
gram requires, the SPDN has hired two
extension assistant faculty to work with
us and support the efforts of this pro-


gram. They are Ms. Carrie Harmon
(Plant Pathologist) and Dr. Amanda
Hodges (Entomologist). We are thrilled
to have them join us and appreciate the
enthusiasm, contributions and knowl-
edge they have to offer. Welcome Carrie
and Amanda!

Future opportunities: We are hopeful
that the 2I 14 and 2005 budgets will be
approved. In addition, each state has
received some funding for education
and training of first responders and we
hope that a portion of this money will
go to agriculture. We have had the op-
portunity to interact with animal and
human health programs with the same
goal of security from exotic pests and
pathogens, and we are coordinating with
these groups. The Department of
Homeland Security will also provide
opportunities to compete for funding.
Please note the recent request for pro-
posals (RFP) through the National Re-
search Initiative FY 21 I4 at:
/04/rfa nri 04.htm.
There are some viable opportunities
for our pathologists to compete for
these funds in a variety of areas.

Great gills! What a sale! As with pre-
vious years, one of the staple fundraisers
to fatten the coffers of the Plant Pathol-
ogy Graduate Student Association was
the mushroom sale this March. After a
bit of bargaining with our Monterey
Mushroom Farm benefactor, donations
for the portabello mushrooms were
doubled this year. This increase was
much appreciated as the sale met with
great success. These relentlessly sought
after mushrooms sold in only three
hours. The pre-ordered portabello's ac-
counted for 71 of the 100 pounds ob-
tained. The button mushrooms also
proved to be an in-demand culinary de-
light. Of the 200 pounds donated, 56
pounds were pre-ordered giving more
than 120 pounds sold overall. Over the
course of the day, more than 220

pounds of mushrooms were sold. Al-
though not all the button mushrooms
sold, they were still put to good use. The
remaining 80 pounds were donated after
the sale to St. Francis House on Main
Thank you to all the graduate stu-
dents who picked-up, packaged, and
sold the mushrooms for the sale. With-
out your help, this process would have
been alarmingly difficult. Thank you also
to all who pre-ordered and purchased all
the mushrooms. The Plant Pathology
Graduate Student Association thanks
Jonathan Horrell also deserves
some recognition for his contribution of
t-shirts featuring some of the more well-
known mushrooms. The proceeds from
shirts purchased at the mushroom sale
were donated to the PLP Graduate Stu-
dent Association.

Folks from Plant Pathology
Department xisit Citrus Nurs-
eries in Brazil

A 2-day citrus nursery course
"Healthy Trees in a New Era" was held
at CREC, Lake Alfred in April 2003 and
was organized by Pete Timmer, Jim
Graham and Richard Lee.
Following the course, a group of 11
Florida citrus nurserymen and their
spouses plus several IFAS research and
extension faculty took a trip to visit Sio
Paulo, Brazil led by Drs. Natalia Peres
and Pete Timmer.


The group visited several state-of-
the-art greenhouse nurseries where trees
are produced in containers. Sanitary
measures are strict requiring use of spe-
cial uniforms to enter the nursery area.


i ... '

The group from Florida used special uni
forms to enter the state-of-the-art green-
house nurseries containing citrus trees

The groups also had the opportu-
nity to visit farms with exotic diseases
such as sudden death, citrus variegated
chlorosis, leprosis, and black spot.

Talking to People in our De-

From now on,
PLP News will
interview staff
and faculty in
our department
with the mission
to bring up in-
teresting facts
about them that
we would never
know. In this issue of the PLP News, we
are glad to present some facts about Mr.
Eugene Crawford. Who does not
know this character? In Fifield Hall eve-
rybody has exchanged at least a few
words with our dear friend Eugene
Crawford. He has been working in Plant
Pathology since 1969. Gene has worked
with many professors such as Dr. Zet-
tier, Dr. Hiebert, Dr. Purcifull and Dr.
Kimbrough. Gene often visits our labs
filling them with harmony and friendli-
ness especially when we are going
through hard times getting the expected
results from our pathological experi-
ments. Although we tried hard to get

deep dark secrets about the department
from Uncle Gene, he was unwilling to
provide details.
Family N matters

Sravya R. Keremane, daughter of
Manjunath and Chandrika, won top
honors in Spring 2003 at the Florida
State Science and Engineering Fair.
Her project was titled "Cloning a
cold tolerant gene in Agrbacterim for
citrus transformation". Sravya's project
received the grand award in the junior
division. She also received first place in
the microbiology category. Sravya's pro-
ject earned her an opportunity to submit
research in the Discovery Young Scien-
tist Challenge competition.

The Biamial N meeting of die
Florida PhIitopathological So-
ciety 2003

Students, staff, and faculty of the
Plant Pathology Department converged
upon Fort Pierce, Florida this May to
present and share the latest research on

Graduate students attending the Florida ]
topathological Society Meeting in Fort Pi
Back row left to right: Robin, Whitney, C
Jennifer, Lisa and Myrian. Front row lef
right: Aaron, Andy, Fabricio, Botond, Ro
and Jonathan.

Phytopathology in the US and the state
of Florida at the 8h Biennial Meeting of
the Florida Phytopathological Society.
The event, held May 5th to May 7th
at the USDA Horticultural Research
Laboratory, kicked off with an "Old

Natalia Peres and Pete
Timmer examining some orange
trees in a nursery


Florida" tour of Adam's Ranch in Ft.
Pierce for those who arrived early.
The main event began the 6h, with
Dr. Harald Scherm, from the Univer-
sity of Georgia, giving the keynote
speech: "Global Change and Global
Challenges for Plant Pathology and Pest
Management," which he used to high-
light his presentation on mummy disease
of blueberry and wild relatives. Thereaf-
ter, Dr. Gail Wisler, Chair of the De-
partment of Plant Pathology at UF, dis-
cussed the new developments in agricul-
tural security in her talk, "The role of UF
in the Southern Plant Diagnostic Net-
The first item on the agenda, after
the opening speeches, was a graduate
student paper competition, with several
students from our department present-
ing their research as following: Whitney
Elmore (Cross-pathogenicity tests to
determine susceptibility to Gaeumannomy-
ces graminis var. graminis in cultivars of
warm-season turfgrasses); Fabricio
Rodrigues (Ultrastructural and cyto-
chemical aspects of silicon-mediated rice
blast resistance); Ronald French (Oo-
spores and weeds: Potential sources of
initial inoculum of Phytophthora capsici in
commercial vegetable fields in Florida);
Botond Balogh (Efficacy of bacterio-
phage formulations for control of bacte-
rial spot of tomato); Steven
MacKenzie (Sexual recombination and
pathogenic variablity among Colleto-
trichum gloeosponodes on naturally inocu-
lated strawberry petioles); Robin Oliver
(Transformation of three molecularly
different Xlella fastidiosa isolates with
one of two autofluorescent protein
genes for simultaneous visualization
within xylem vessels of Vitus vinfer) and
Aaron Hert (Relative Importance of
Bacteriocin-like genes in antagonism of
T3 Strains to T1 Strains of Xanthomonas
campestris pv. vesicatoria).

Congratulations to students Fabri-
cio Rodrigues, Ronald French and
Steven MacKenzie who won, respec-
tively, the first, second and third prize


during the Graduate Student Paper
After the competition, the meeting
was dispersed into several simultaneous
and interesting conferences about bacte-
rial, fungal and viral diseases; biological
and chemical control of plant diseases;
molecular plant pathology; and plant
disease epidemiology.

Pan American Plant Disease
Conference 2003

The Pan American Plant Disease
Conference was held in South Padre
Island, Texas, from April 5-10, 2003.
This meeting was held in conjunc-
tion with the 82nd Annual Meeting of the
American Phytopathological Society
(APS)-Southem Division, 42nd Annual
Meeting of the APS-Caribbean Division,
XII Congress of the Latin American
Phytopathological Society (ALF), and
the XXX Congress of the Mexican Soci-
ety of Plant Pathology.
Our graduate student body was well
represented by Fabricio Rodrigues and
Ronald French. Fabricio won first
place in the APS-Southem Division
Graduate Student Paper competition.
Ronald also took first place in the APS-
Caribbean Division Graduate Student
A recent alumnus from our depart-
ment who attended the meeting was
Juliana Freitas-Astua, former editor of
the PPL News. Juliana was invited to
give a talk on Citrus Sudden Death
(CSD), which has been causing severe
losses in the Brazilian citrus production
areas of the southwest and northern
parts of Minas Gerais and SAo Paulo
states, respectively. The cause of CSD is
still unknown.
Florida was well represented by our
Plant Pathology community from UF-
IFAS, USDA, DPI, as well as folks from
the Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM)
Program. Adam Silagyi (recent gradu-
ate of the DPM program) and Bob
McGovern (Professor of Plant Pathol-
ogy and Director of the DPM program)

presented a poster on the DPM pro-
gram. Bob is also Secretary-Treasurer of
the APS-Southern Division.



Recent Publications

Rodrigues, F.A., Benhamou, N.,
Datnoff, L.E., Jones, J.B. and Belanger,
R.R. 2003. Ultrastructural and cyto-
chemical aspects of silicon-mediated rice
blast resistance. Phytopathology 93:535-

Brunings, A.M. and D.W. Gabriel. 2003.
Xanthomonas cri: breaking the surface.
Molecular Plant Pathology 4(3):141-157.

MacKenzie, S.J., Xiao, C.L., Mertely,
J.C., Chandler, C.KI., Martin, F.G. and
Legard, D.E. 2003. Uniformity of
strawberry yield and incidence of Bo-
trytis fruit rot in an annual production
system. Plant Disease 87:991-998.

Mertely, J.C., MacKenzie, S.J., and Le-
gard, D.E. 21 '2 Timing of fungicide
applications for Botrytis cinerea based on
development stage of strawberry flow-
ers and fruit. Plant Disease 86:1019-

Urena-Padilla, A.R., MacKenzie, S.J.,
Bowen, B.W. and Legard, D.E. 2'" '2
Etiology and population genetics of
Colletotrichum spp. causing crown and
fruit rot of strawberry. Phytopathology

The American Phytopa-
thological Meeting 2003

The American Phytopathological So-
ciety (APS) held its annual meeting in
Charlotte, North Carolina, from August
9-13, 2003. The theme for this meeting
was "Plant Health and Security in the
Age of Genomics".
There were plenty of sessions to
choose from, depending on your inter-
est. Some sessions were organized by
members of our state's plant pathology
community. "Science and the Legal Sys-
tem: When Worlds Collide" was organ-
ized by Tim Gottwald (USDA-

Ft.Pierce) and Randy Ploetz (TREC-
Homestead). "Emerging and Re-
emerging Threats to USA Agriculture"
was co-organized by Scott Adkins
(USDA-Ft.Pierce). "Integrated Pest
Management of Tospoviruses and Their
Thrip Vectors" was co-organized by
Timur Momol (NFREC-Quincy). Of
interest to all, especially our graduate
student body, was the session tiled
"The Role of Teaching Assistants in
Higher Education" which was co-
organized by Carol Stiles (UF-
Many of our graduate students pre-
sented posters and oral talks or simply
attended the meeting as a way to be ac-
tive in the society.
Once again, Florida Plant Pathology
had one of the highest attendances by
any state, as is customary year after year.
That could easily be noticed just by visit-
ing the Alumni social sponsored by our
department on Monday night. Many of
our current Florida Plant Pathology
family were present to socialize and
mingle with alumni and colleagues who
had been members of our family in the
recent past.

APS Meetings 2004

The Annual Meeting of the
American Phytopathological Society
will be held in the beautiful city of
Anaheim, California from July 31-
August 4, 211, 4. This meeting is ex-
pected to attract a large number of
participants and for those of us Flo-
ridians planning to attend, start making
plans as soon as possible (Anaheim is
home to Disneyland as its major at-
traction). If you need more informa-
tion, please visit the APS website at

The Annual Meeting of the APS-
Southern Division will be held in
Tulsa, OK, February 15-17, 2 '"4.
Please, visit this site
http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantpath /
SD APS/SouthernAPS.html for more

information regarding this exciting

Facts on California


Admission to Statehood: September 9,
Bird: California Valley Quail
Flower: California Poppy
Tree: Coast redwood
Area: 163707 square miles
Border States: Arizona, Nevada and
Agriculture: Vegetables, fruits and nuts,
dairy products, cattle, nursery stock,
Industry: Electronic components and
equipment, aerospace, film production,
food processing, petroleum, computers
and computer software, tourism
Lowest point: Death Valley
Motto: Eureka
Nickname: Golden State
Origin of State's Name: Named by
Spanish after Califia, a mythical paradise
in a Spanish romance written by
Montalvo in 1510

Population: 33,871,648
Topography: Long mountainous coast-
line, central valley, Sierra Nevada on the
east, southern desert basins, rugged
mountains in the north
Flag: raised at Sonoma on June 14,
1846, by a group of American settlers in
revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was
designed by William Todd on a piece of
new unbleached cotton. The star imi-
tated the lone star of Texas. A grizzly
bear represented the many bears seen in
the state. The word, "California Repub-
lic" was placed beneath the star and

bear. It was adopted by the 1911 State
Legislature as the State Fag

Plant Pathology
International Lunch

This year the International lunch
took place on November 5h. Once again
our colleagues cooked up a storm.
Dishes representative of the cuisine
from Brazil, Egypt, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India,
Mediterranean region, Scotland, Pa-
nama, Peru, South Africa, Suriname,
Thailand, USA, Venezuela were served.


The International Lunch was well
attended by students and faculty from a
number of different Departments. The
cultural atmosphere was enhanced by a
wonderful selection of music from
around the world. This event not only
exposed people to dishes worldwide, but
also provided an opportunity to interact
with international people. The Interna-
tional Lunch committee would like to
thank everyone who participated and
made this event a great success.

Friday Coffee Break Schedule
Winter 2003-200(

5 Gabriel and Hiebert/Polston
12 Charudattan and Jones
19 Bartz, Stiles, Plant Dis. Clinic and
26 Christmas Break
2 New Year's Break
9 Office Staff and DPM
16 Kimbrough and Rollins
23 Chourey, Virology Lab and Pring
30 Kucharek and Song

6 Gabriel and Hiebert/Polston
13 Charudattan and Jones
20 Bartz, Stiles, Plant Dis. Clinic and
27 Office Staff and DPM

If you would like to contribute with an
article, a short piece, or a suggestion,
please mail us at:
PLP News
1453 Fifield Hall
P.O. Box 110680, Gainesville, FL 32611

News Team and Collaborators
for Spring, Summer and Fall 2003

Fabricio Avila Rodrigues (Editor)
Dr. Gail Wisler, Dr. Jerry Bartz, Dr. Pete
Timmer, Dr. JeffJones, Dr. R Charudattan,
Dr. Ernest Hiebert, Ronald French, Whitney
Elmore, Penny Robison, Abby Guerra,
Jonathan Horrell, Aaron Hert, Yolanda Pe-
tersen and Adriana Castanieda.

The opinions expressed in this newslettr are not
necessarily those of the PLPNews '

1P] P New\ i av.ilable- inlic. at
hlttap: plantpaitl.i fs.ut l.dul

People enjoying the international food

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