Lucky Mehra, a PhD student with Drs. Peter Ojiambo and Christina Cowger, spoke to about 100 visitors to the Northeast Ag Expo in Tyner, NC. Lucky explained the life cycle of Stagonospora nodorum, a widespread fungal pathogen that causes a sometimes damaging leaf and glume blotch of wheat. He also described best management practices and his research on factors that determine epidemic severity.
The North Carolina Tobacco Tour was held July 14-15. The tour began with a Welcome Dinner on Monday evening at the Fargo Cattle Company in Zebulon. A field tour followed on Tuesday morning at the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station in Rocky Mount. The tour is the combined effort Departments of Plant Pathology, Crop Science, Entomology, and Biological & Agricultural Engineering.
Graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology have an active outreach group. In addition to participating in large outreach events like Bugfest and Triangle SciTech Expo at the Museum of Natural Sciences, they also visit local high schools to spread the word about how plant pathologists use biotechnology to manage plant pests. On April 4, 2014 they visited three of Mrs. Eckenrod’s sophomore biology classes at Princeton High School in Eastern North Carolina. Students performed DNA extractions from strawberry tissue, looked at fungal spores under a microscope, learned the basics of fungal isolation and culture maintenance, and learned how to transform geranium plants with agrobacterium. This outreach program aims to teach and inform the general public about plant pathology and current issues in world food production.