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Lab News and Updates

Stewart Lab wins WIFDWC travel award; participates June 2019 conferences on forest and plant pathology

John, Jessa, Brad and Dave got the Western International Forest Disease Work Conference (WIFDWC) travel awards to present their research in WIFDWC 2019 at Estes Park, CO last 3-7 June 2019. Jessa and Brad gave talks on their research on emerging needle pathogens and soil microbial communities, respectively. John and Dave presented their posters on Koa wilt and Pine wilt diseases, respectively. Jorge also presented and demonstrated his LAMP assay for white pine blister rust.

Stewart Lab also participated in the American Phytopathological Society (APS) Pacific Division Meeting last 25-27 June 2019. John and Jorge gave oral presentations for their ‘omics research on Fusarium oxysporum and Cytospora leucostoma, respectively. Jessa and Frank presented their posters on potentially new needle pathogen infecting limber pines in CO and on plant inoculations on martian regolith substrate, respectively.

The team was also actively involved in the field trips for WIFDWC and APS.

John bags 2019 CSU scholarship award

Cheers to John for scooping this year’s Margaret T. Irish Family Scholarship! His work on forest plantations and interest to improve plantation production are truly outstanding and deserving for this award. This $2,500.00 award will be a great help for him to pursue excellent research on forest pathology. Kudos!

Frank wins Undergrad Award for Excellence in Student Research


Cheers to Frank for winning the Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research given by the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society during the Western Region District 1 Convention last March 30, 2019. This event was hosted by Colorado State University and Epsilon Alpha Chi Chapter. His research is on grow performance of plants inoculated with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in martian regolith. It will explore possibilities of growing food in planet Mars. Kudos to Frank and his cool research!

9News features Cytospora Peach Canker

Dr. Jane and Stephan spoke with 9News last 23 July 2018 about Cytospora canker affecting the palisade peaches. The interview featured Stephan’s research on phenotypic variations of different peach varieties when exposed to abiotic and biotic stresses. This is important to identify peach varieties that can survive despite infection of pathogen Cytospora leucostoma, while being subject to pH variations and drought. Further, this study will also determine pathogenicity of C. leucostoma amidst environmental stress. Indeed, better awareness of the public about tree diseases will help in tree crop management. To watch the full video, please click this link.

Brad scoops the Storkan-Hanes-McCaslin Research Foundation Award

Kudos to Brad for bagging the Storkan-Hanes-McCaslin Research Foundation Award! This award is worth 5,000 USD to pursue research on soil-borne diseases of plants. It will definitely be a big boost for Brad’s research on Armillaria solidipes causing root rot in hardwoods and conifers in temperate regions. 

Stewart Lab wins 2018 CSU, APS awards

Team members in the Stewart Lab won CSU and APS awards for Spring 2018. Stephan and Jessa received the Ag Day Scholarship from the College of Agricultural Sciences. Jessa also got the William Brown Professional Development Award from the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management in support for her travel to Puerto Rico to present her poster at the 11th International Mycological Congress. Meanwhile, Brad bagged the 2018 Forest Pathology Student Travel Award for his trip to Boston, Massachusets to give a talk at the 2018 International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP). He also received the Agricultural Microbiome Research Coordination Network Travel Grant to attend the International Agricultural Microbiome Research Coordination Network Workshop on 28 July 2018 in Boston, in conjuction with the 2018 ICPP. Cheers!

(Photo on the left: The awardees Stephan, Brad and Jessa together with Sari, our former post-doc fellow)

Stewart Lab teaches Kids at Werner

Dr. Jane and her students taught gradeschoolers at Werner Elementary School about tree diseases and disease management last 20 April 2018. For more photos and videos, please click here.

Stewart Lab to attend International Conferences on Mycology and Plant Pathology 

Several members of the team have been accepted to present their research at the 11th International Mycological Congress (IMC11) on 16-21 July 2018 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the International Conference of Plant Pathology (ICPP) in Boston, Massachussets which will be held on 29 July to 03 August 2018.

Rachael, Jorge and Jessa will present posters entitled “Endophyte communities in limber pine in relation to resistance and susceptibility to white pine blister rust”,”Genome assembly and annotation of Rafaella lauricola: a comparison with other members of the Ophiostomales”, and “Diversity of Potential Emerging Pathogens of Conifers in Colorado, USA”, respectively, at IMC11. Meanwhile, Brad, Jorge, Rachael and Stephan will be attending the ICPP.

Brad and Jorge will give talks on “Changes in soil microbial communities associated with Armillaria root disease of western white pine (Pinus monticola)” and “Development of a rapid and sensitive ddPCR method for detection of Cytospora leucostoma in peach orchards”, respectively. Rachael and Stephan will present their posters about sustained water stress increasing black walnut susceptibility to the pathogen Geosmithia morbida, and the epidemiology of Cytospora leucostoma which is a major limiting factor for Colorado peach production, respectively.

IMC11 is sponsored by the Mycological Society of America, the Latin American Mycological Association, the Puerto Rican Mycological Society, University del Turabo and Meet Puerto Rico. This Congress, which is held every four years, carries the theme “Mycological Discoveries for a Better World” for this year. ICPP is sponsored by the International Society for Plant Pathology and organized by the American Phytopathological Society. ICPP 2018 presentations will cover a diverse range of research on genomics to epidemiology, which affect plant health at a local and global scale.

Stephan bags the Howard Schwartz Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management

Stephan bagged the Howard Schwartz Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management during the 2017 Winter Socials and Awards Ceremony. The Awards Committee was impressed by Stephan’s commitment to communicate his research with the agricultural community of Colorado and the broader scientific community. The Howard Schwartz Award is given to students who possess an exceptional dedication to research and extension. The Socials and Awards Ceremony is usually held at the end of the semester and organized by the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management. (Photo credit: BSPM)

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