Several department graduate students in this month’s issue of Plant Disease

Three graduate students from the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology are named as authors in the November 2015 issue of Plant Disease.  Carolina Avellandea is first author on the article titled, “Screening for Resistance to Sugarcane Brown Rust With Controlled-conditions Inoculation,” and Myra Purvis and Sebastian Albu are named as co-authors on the paper, “Fungicide Resistance in Cercospora kikuchii, a Soybean Pathogen.”  Congratulations!

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PPCP GSA celebrates 2015 Halloween

30th October turned out to be great fun for the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology graduate students of LSU! Since the fall break came with a promising weekend, stealing some time for fun was convenient.

Halloween is an annual celebration marked in most regions of the western world. History has it that it used to be a day set aside for remembering the dead and all departed faithfuls. (Bet we all have that one person we think of when such topics are mentioned…). Although October 31st is the official date for Halloween celebrations in countries like the United States, Canada and England, we went ahead of the world on the 30th of October. With much costuming, pumpkin carving (you never know what great artists we’ve got until a time like this!), sharing riddles, dancing/seeing horror musical videos and lots of snacks and drinks, it was easy to look forward to next year.

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PPCP GSA welcomes three new students with a barbecue!!!

On August 29th, 2015, the LSU PPCP GSA welcomed our new graduate students with barbecued chicken, pork and sausage on the beautiful LSU Lakes.  This fall, Filipe Godoy, Rachel Herschlag and Sergio Urioste joined the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology.   Felipe Godoy orginially hails from Brazil, where he received a B.S. in Agronomy at Universidade Federal de Uberlandia.  Felipe is working with nematodes for his master’s thesis with Dr. Charlie Overstreet.  Rachel Herschlag completed her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2015 at Tulane University in New Orleans, but she is from the great state of Pennsylvania.  Rachel is starting on her master’s work and will continue into a Ph.D program with Dr. Rodrigo Valverde studying viruses.  Sergio Urioste, from Bolivia, was a student at Zamarano in Honduras where he earned a B.S. in Environmental and Civil Engineering.  Sergio is Dr. Vinson Doyle’s first graduate student at LSU and will be working with fungi for his master’s research.  Thanks to Brian Ward and Teddy Garcia for organizing the bbq and to the numerous cooks including: Brian Ward, Sebastian Albu and Eduardo Chagas.  Thanks to everyone else who brought snacky foods.  We had a great turnout and an even better time.  Welcome and let’s get busy!!!

Students on the Lakes of LSU. Front row: Jingyu Peng, Adam Bigott, Tiago Lelis, Ben McInnis, Yen Raruang, Eduardo Chagas and Sergio Urioste. Back row: Senaya Kularathna, Pramuditha Kularathna, President Manjula Kularathna, Felipe Godoy, Rachel Herschlag, Huijing Zhu, Rebecca Sweany and Alejandra Jimenez.

Students on the Lakes of LSU. Front row (left to right): Jingyu Peng, Adam Bigott, Favio Herrera, Tiago Lelis, Ben McInnis, Yen Raruang, Eduardo Chagas and Sergio Urioste. Back row: Senaya Kularathna, Pramuditha Kularathna, President Manjula Kularathna, Felipe Godoy, Rachel Herschlag, Huijing Zhu, Rebecca Sweany and Alejandra Jimenez.

Attending the grill, left to right: Teddy Garcia, Eduardo Chagas, Felipe Godoy and Sebastian Albu.

Attending the grill, left to right: Teddy Garcia, Eduardo Chagas, Felipe Godoy and Sebastian Albu.

PPCP GSA students go to California and return as movie stars!!!

Several students from LSU’s Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department toured around California to learn about plant pathology problems in agriculture after the American Phytopathology Society’s annual meeting in Pasadena, California.  Eduardo Chagas has made a video of our trip.  Please, follow the link below to watch learning in action.  Briefly, we traveled to Semenis Inc. in Oxnard, Cal Poly Strawberry Center in San Luis, Dow Agro Sciences in Fresno, Driscoll’s in Watsonville, USDA Research Station in Salinas, U.C. Davis and Langetwins Family Winery and Vineyards in Lodi.  In all, Sebastian Albu, Adam Bigott, Eduardo Chagas, Dongfang Hu, Ally Lunos, Jingyu Peng, Yen Raruang, Josi Rezende and Rebecca Sweany attended to the trip.  Thanks to APS, College of Ag, Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Ken Damann, Clayton Hollier, Jeff Hoy, and Ray Schneider for financial support.  We came back to Louisiana as experts on California agriculture and after everyone shares our video…..movie stars!!!  Stay tuned for our full report of the trip in a future blog post. 

LSU Plant Pathology California Educational Tour

Another successful summer sharing program down the hatch!!!

For the second year in a row, the LSU PPCP graduate students organized the Summer Technical Sharing Sessions.  This year demonstrations/lectures were presented by 11 students.  Topics ranged from proteomics to using computer programs to measure colony diameters.  We had good attendance in most of our sessions.  We learned an important lesson: techniques should be very different from ones taught in labs and classes, otherwise there is little student interest and very low attendance.  To encourage participation by students using common techniques, it may be better for students to give a presentation on how they used those techniques to answer important plant pathology questions.

The summer sharing sessions began on June 9th and ended on August 17th.  Here is a list of presenters and their topics:

Nike Omolehin, Daniel Debona and Dr. Han, “2‐D Gel electrophoresis with IPG strips: an invaluable discovery in proteomics”

Rebecca Sweany, “Large-­scale production of Aspergillus flavus conidia for field inoculations”
Ally Lunos, “Assess 2.0 software can digitally measure fungal colony size”

Mary Helen Ferguson, “Inoculating a xylem‐limited pathogen into a woody plant”

Jingyu Peng, “Phylogenetic study with Linux HPC: free, fast and powerful”

Manjula Kularathna, “Sampling and extraction of plant parasitic nematodes”

Eduardo Chagas, “How to apply treatments to soybean leaves in vitro while not disrupting the water column in the leaves”

Ton Khankhum and Cesar Escalante, “Modified method for viral dsRNA extraction”

Marija Zivanovic, “Primer design for PCR and cloning”

Thanks to all of the students who presented and attended the sessions!!!  Especially thanks to Ally Lunos for organizing the Summer Sharing Technical Sessions.  We learned a lot and are better for it!

Nike Omolehin teaching Alejandra Jimenez how to rehydrate IPG stripes for proteomics.  Pictured with Jorge Reyes and Cesear Escalante.

Nike Omolehin teaching Alejandra Jimenez how to rehydrate IPG stripes for proteomics. Pictured with Jorge Reyes and Cesear Escalante.

Ally Lunos demonstrating Assess to measure colony size.

Ally Lunos demonstrating Assess to measure colony size.

Eduardo Chagas explaining the water column in plant vascular tissue.

Eduardo Chagas explaining the water column in plant vascular tissue.

Rebecca Sweany helps Alejandra Jimenez and other students suspend conidia.

Rebecca Sweany helping Alejandra Jimenez and other students suspend conidia.

LSU travels to APS annual meeting in Pasadena

Come check out the exciting research LSU’s students are doing at the Annual American Phytopathological Society meeting, August 1-5th in Pasadena, CA. Three of our students will be giving oral presentations: Rebecca Sweany on Sunday at 2:45 P.M (Ballroom C), Josielle Rezende on Monday at 10:45 A.M. (Ballroom G) and Jingyu Peng on Wednesday at 1:30 P.M. (Ballroom B).

On behalf of the PPCP GSA, Jingyu Peng will be presenting a poster (co-authored by Ally Lunos and Rebecca Sweany) about the summer technical sharing program the GSA organized in 2014 and again in 2015.  The poster number is 804 and we’ll be standing by the poster from 5-6 on Monday.  We’ll be highlighting lab demonstrations presented by students from various research groups in 2014.

Several students will also present posters: Ally Lunos 274 and Sanjay Pokhrel 296 on Monday from 4-5; Adam Bigott 642 and Dongfang Hu 746 on Monday 5-6; Eduardo Chagas 35 and Yen Raruang 365 on Tuesday 4-5.

Come check out the excellent work our students have been up to.  Geaux Tigers!!!!!

Congratulations!!! LSU PPCP GSA scholarships and beyond!

Jingyu Peng and Churamani Khanal were chosen to receive the LSU PPCP GSA scholarships for Fall 2015.  The scholarships will help pay for their attendance to professional conferences.  Master’s student in Dr. Jong Ham’s lab, Jingyu Peng will be attending the 2015 American Phytopathological Society’s Annual Meeting in Pasadena, California.  He will be giving an oral presentation, “Comparative transcriptomic analysis of Burkholderia glumae reveals the important role of tepR gene in regulating a multitude of cellular processes.”  Jingyu will also be presenting a poster, written with fellow students Ally Lunos and Rebecca Sweany about the GSA’s summer sharing program entitled, “LSU summer technical sharing sessions: graduate students teaching graduate students.” Churamani Khanal, doctoral student for Drs. McGawley and Overstreet, presented work from his master’s thesis at University of Arkansas, “Meloidogyne spp. reported from Arkansas; past and present” at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nematologists in East Lansing, Michigan.

Jingyu Peng and Chiramani Kahnal

Jingyu Peng and Churamani Khanal

Additional praise goes to Eduardo Chagas and Sanjay Pokhrel.  Eduardo was awarded 2nd place for his presentation at the 2015 Southern Soybean Disease Worker’s Meeting in Pensacola, FL. Sanjay received an APS Student Travel award to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting in Pasadena.