View this edition of SporePrints online.
Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Message from the Bull Penn

Carolee Bull
CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
RECENT GRADUATES
Graduate Program
  • Amanda Mainello, Spring 2020, M.S., Plant Pathology
  • Juan Francisco Iturralde Martinez, Fall 2019, M.S., Plant Pathology
  • Laura Bautista Jalón, Spring 2020, Ph.D., Plant Pathology
  • Kaixi Zhao, Spring 2020, Ph.D., Plant Pathology
Undergraduate Program 
Plant Pathology Minor
  • Crosley Kudla-Williams, Spring 2020, B.S., Plant Sciences 
  • Po Wen Pai, Spring 2020, B.S., Plant Sciences
  • Vladislav Stefanovich, Fall 2019, B.S., Agricultural Science 
  • Samuel Ziegler, Fall 2019, B.S., Food Science
Mushroom Science and Technology Minor
  • Charles Stinson, Spring 2020, B.S., Agribusiness Management
NEW INITIATIVES
Interdisciplinary lecture cultivates collaboration, leadership in plant health
Interdisciplinary lecture cultivates collaboration, leadership in plant health

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences held its inaugural Eva J. Pell Interdisciplinary Lecture on Plant Health on Dec. 9. The topic for this year’s lecture — “Where do Abiotic and Biotic Stress Overlap?” — focused on research that could mitigate the impacts of climate change on abiotic and biotic stress in plants. Continue reading...
AWARDS
2020 Department awards and scholarships recipients announced
2020 Department awards and scholarships recipients announced 

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology announced its 2020 awards and scholarships recipients during the annual winter celebration on Monday at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center in State College. Continue reading...
Graduate students in plant pathology awarded research grants, honorable mentions

Three graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were among those who received grants and honorable mentions this year from the National Science Foundation. Continue reading...
Terry Torres-Cruz, a de la Torre Scholar in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, second from left in the middle row, poses at the Nittany Lion Shrine with other students from David Geiser’s lab in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. From left, back row, are Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry and Shawn Chang. In the middle row are Jane Ramaswe, Torres Cruz, Emma Wallace and David Geiser. In front are Daniela Chacon, who, like Torres-Cruz, is from Costa Rica, and Chyanna McGee.  IMAGE: PENN STATE
Doctoral student in College of Agricultural Sciences creates global connections

As a de la Torre Scholar in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Terry Torres-Cruz aspires to foster relationships between the college and Latin America by sharing her connections and experiences. Continue reading...
Teaching excellence recognized in College of Agricultural Sciences

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has recognized nine faculty members for outstanding teaching in 2019. Continue reading...
DIVERSITY
IMAGE: PENN STATE
Plant Pathology spotlights diversity, equity and inclusion through new committee

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee — the result of a conversation that sprouted from a mentoring relationship between a student and faculty member. Continue reading...
RESEARCH
The Mighty Microbiome

The term "microbiome" has become widely used in recent years as people devotedly devour kimchi, kefir, and kombucha in an attempt to improve their digestion, depression, and blood pressure. Indeed, we now know that the trillions of microbes--viruses, bacteria, and fungi--that live on our skin and in our guts, lungs, and reproductive organs, among other places, play critical roles in our well-being. Continue reading...
A new protocol that uses aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 respirators successfully inactivates viruses without indication that it impairs mask fit. This protocol could be used in hospital settings to overcome shortages of respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic. IMAGE: MORIAH SZPARA, PENN STATE
New decontamination protocol permits reuse of N95 respirators

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage of personal protective equipment, including “N95”  respirators, needed by frontline healthcare providers. A new protocol using aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 respirators could allow them to be safely reused in some hospital settings, where the disinfectant is already being used for other decontamination purposes. The protocol, optimized by a team of Penn State researchers, inactivates viruses with no indication that the respirator is deformed or damaged over ten decontamination cycles, as reflected by rigorous respirator fit-testing. Continue reading...
Crabapple blossoms at the Penn State University Park campus. IMAGE: SARA KLEE
Fire blight publication featured in American Society for Microbiology podcast

A publication from the lab of Timothy McNellis, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, was recently featured on “This Week in Microbiology,” a podcast produced by the American Society for Microbiology. Continue reading...
A team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences examined the long-term impact of soybean diseases on production in the U.S.  IMAGE: LYNN BETTS/USDA
Penn State researchers find significant economic losses due to soybean diseases

Economic losses due to soybean diseases in the United States from 1996 to 2016 amounted to more than $95 billion, according to a team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences who examined the long-term impact of soybean diseases on production in the U.S. Continue reading...
Researchers reviewed existing evidence, as well as proprietary and novel government data, on seed treatment usage and found that many farmers either did not know what pesticides were on their seeds or falsely assumed that seed treatments did not include certain pesticides. IMAGE: ALYSSA COLLINS
Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported

Pesticide-coated seeds — such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects — are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. The lack of data may complicate efforts to evaluate the value of different pest management strategies, while also protecting human health and the environment. Continue reading...
EXTENSION HIGHLIGHTS
Penn State Plant Disease Clinic diagnostician, Jennie Mazzone, analyzes a strawberry sample. IMAGE: JENNIE MAZZONE
Plant Disease Clinic remains open, now accepting electronic samples

The Plant Disease Clinic remains open during the novel coronavirus pandemic to provide essential services for Pennsylvania agriculture. The clinic is operating with limited lab hours and working remotely when possible to continue identifying plant diseases and providing management recommendations. Continue reading...
OTHER
Laine Hackenberg and Clara Miller, members of the Blooms and Shrooms Club, look for mushrooms and other fungi on campus while Penn State staff member Pembroke Childs, at right, observes.  IMAGE: JACK OULIGIAN
Blooms and Shrooms Club reveals new world at Penn State

From the polypores forming on the trees to the white caps emerging from the ground, mushrooms and other fungi abound around Penn State. Continue reading...
The Lion’s Pantry was created by students for students to help address the issue of food insecurity at Penn State's University Park campus. The pantry's mission aims to help students focus on their education, not where their next meal will come from. IMAGE: PATRICK MANSELL
President forms task force to look at student food and housing security

Food and housing insecurity is a growing issue for students at colleges and universities across the United States. Recent reports from both The Hope Center and the U.S. General Accounting Office have found these issues on college campuses nationwide. To help address this problem at Penn State, University President Eric Barron has formed a University Task Force on Food and Housing Security. Continue reading...
IMAGE: CDC
What are viruses anyway, and why do they make us so sick? 5 questions answered

What are viruses anyway, and why do they make us so sick? 5 questions answered by Dr. Marilyn Roossinck. Continue reading...
NEW FACULTY AND STAFF
ALUMNI / EMERITI / RETIREES
Virtual Field Trip

Tom Butzler, Penn State Extension Educator and Pennsylvania Association of County Agricultural Agents member, shared his experience visiting several locations in Centre County. Hop on the virtual bus and visit the following places:

Penn State's Mushroom Research Center [8:45] 
Happy Valley Winery [33:08]
Hops Trials and Research at Penn State [39:36] 
World War II veteran and Penn State alumnus Leon Kneebone, now age 99, talked about his military service during the war and his time at Penn State, first as a student and later as a professor. IMAGE: KALEB COOK, PENN STATE OFFICE OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
World War II paratrooper with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star talks about the war

On Dec. 4, 1944, in the jungles of the Philippines during World War II, Penn State alumnus Leon Kneebone, now age 99, found himself leading a platoon of 50 to 60 men on a scouting mission to help locate the Japanese position. Continue reading...
Hunter Swisher leveraged his plant science studies and Penn State resources for entrepreneurs into a fast-growing startup company that has secured up to $1.5 million in investment funding.
Alumnus secures $1.5 million for Start-Up

Hunter Swisher, 2016 plant sciences graduate and entrepreneur, recently secured up to $1.5 million in new investment funding for Phospholutions, his startup fertilizer solution company. Continue reading...
PPEM PRESENTS
Bitter Rot of Apple in PA: Causal Species, Fungicide Sensitivities, and Ecology
Phillip Martin

:: View More
Newsletter Note
Please let us know your thoughts and how we may be able to improve future newsletters.
Thank you!
Follow PPEM
Like PPEM
Instagram
Website
You are receiving this email because of your connection to the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State.

Our mailing address is:
Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
211 Buckhout Lab
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802-4507

Add us to your address book


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.