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Plant Pathology

The department is recognized as a national and international leader in many areas of plant pathology. The research programs focus on diseases caused by fastidious microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and whitefly- and aphid-transmitted viruses. We are known for our research on diseases of diverse crops including citrus; vegetables such as tomato, pepper and cucurbits; ornamentals including foliage plants and flowering and woody ornamentals; field crops including soybean, peanut and sugarcane; and tropical fruits. Our strengths also include expertise in epidemiology, molecular biology of host-parasite interactions, biological control, and post-harvest diseases. Our faculty has also been very active in international programs as evidenced by the many collaborative efforts in Florida and outside the U.S.
--- About Plant Pathology,

Editorial Team


Florida Plant Disease Management Guide: Guava (Psidium guajava)

PG133/PP-232by Romina Gazis, Jonathan Crane, and Jeff WasielewskiMay 22, 2024Guava is a popular subtropical fruit tree grown commercially in south Florida. Production is affected by multiple diseases of different origin. This guide provides information about the most common diseases, including disease biology and management. Written by Romina Gazis, Jonathan Crane, and Jeff Wasielewski, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, revised April 2024.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Bacterial Leaf Spot of Cucurbits

PP376/PP376by Kiersten Fullem, Mathews L. Paret, and Jeffrey B. JonesApril 11, 2024This publication is intended to provide information on the disease bacterial leaf spot of cucurbits, its epidemiology, and management to cucurbit growers in the southeastern United States. Written by Kiersten Fullem, Mathews L. Paret, and Jeffrey B. Jones, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, March 2024.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Marasmius vagus (the Wandering Creamsicle), One of Florida’s Most Common Lawn Mushrooms

PP375/PP375by Sarah Prentice and Matthew E. SmithMarch 21, 2024Marasmius vagus is one of the most common lawn mushrooms in the state of Florida. The purpose of this publication is to introduce Floridians to this mushroom, provide basic information about its biology, and aid in identification. Written by Sarah Prentice and Matthew E. Smith, and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, February 2024.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Sample Collection for Ganoderma Butt Rot of Palms

PP373/PP373by Braham Dhillon and Seemanti ChakrabartiFebruary 21, 2024Palms are an integral part of the urban landscape in Florida. Ganoderma butt rot of palms, a disease caused by the wood-decaying white-rot fungus Ganoderma zonatum, is one of the major biotic concerns for the landscape industry. The lethal disease is prevalent across palm-growing regions in the US, and all palm species are believed to be susceptible to this fungus. It may take six months to a year for the diseased palm to die once the initial symptoms appear. But with the availability of a disease diagnostic assay, this fungal pathogen can be detected using saw dust samples collected from declining palms, several months before symptoms appear. Collect good quality samples by following these steps and understanding the caveats associated with each step. Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Phytophthora Root Rot on Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida

PP374/PP374by Norma C. Flor, Douglas A. Phillips, and Philip F. HarmonFebruary 1, 2024Roots serve the vital function of water and nutrient uptake for plants. Healthy roots provide the foundation for productive blueberry bushes and require the right horticultural inputs and soil environment to thrive. Less-than-ideal conditions can result in unhealthy, rotten roots, sometimes caused by disease. The most common and destructive root rot disease of southern highbush blueberry (SHB) in Florida is Phytophthora root rot (PRR), caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands. Oomycetes, or “water molds,” favor water-saturated environments. The distinction between oomycetes and fungi is important for disease management, because many fungicides work for only one group, not both. Worldwide, P. cinnamomi is a devastating pathogen of approximately 5,000 woody plant host species. For blueberry growers in Florida, PRR is a persistent problem that is currently managed through careful site selection, preparation, and routine Phytophthora-specific fungicide applications. Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises