David N. Appel
Research in the Forest Pathology Laboratory focuses on factors that influence the incidence and severity of plant disease epidemics, such as oak wilt and Pierce’s disease of grapes. Similar studies are being conducted on potentially dangerous invasive species, such as exotic and native dodder species.
The principal focus of my research and extension deals with the management of diseases associated with turfgrass, rice, and soybean. Studies have been conducted to develop molecular identification methods of causal pathogens and to improve cultural and chemical strategies to manage diseases in the field.
Gary N. Odvody
My research is primarily with fungal diseases of maize and sorghum. Major diseases (pathogens) occurring on sorghum and maize, including charcoal rot (Macrophomina phaseolina), sorghum downy mildew (Peronosclerospora sorghi), head smut (Sporisorium reilianum), aflatoxin (Aspergillus flavus), several foliar diseases, sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana) and grain mold (Fusarium moniliforme and F. thapsina). Research areas for pathogens include ecology, survival, initial inoculum, pathogen variability, and host:parasite interaction (especially under stress environments).
Major research projects in Dr. Rush’s lab include ecology and epidemiology of karnal bunt, remote sensing to differentiate between biotic and abiotic stresses, management of sorghum ergot, and genomic variability among Benyviruses. Dr. Rush’s lab is the only USDA-APHIS approved Karnal Bunt Quarantine Research Lab in the Southern Great Plains, and as such, provides a phytosanitary seed certification service that allows Texas producers to sale seed wheat outside of the state.
My research focus is in soil-borne diseases of cotton and peanut. I assist cotton breeders in breeding for disease resistance, chemical testing for various diseases, management of pod rot of peanuts, and understanding the interaction between irrigation rates and plant pathogens in large-scale agricultural settings.