The Department of Plant Pathology at NDSU is a stand-alone plant pathology unit and one of the seven academic units in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. The department has 16 tenured/tenure-track faculty members, whose expertise include host-parasite genetics, molecular biology, epidemiology, tissue culture, soil and seed-borne diseases, microbial ecology, integrated disease management and physiology of bacterial, fungal, nematode and viral diseases.
North Dakota produces over 40 commodities and is a leading national producer in over a dozen. Multiple plant diseases threaten the yield and quality of every crop produced in the state. Each disease needs to be studied and understood, and producers need efficient and sustainable management protocols. Departmental faculty eagerly embrace that challenge. In short, among other things, the department exists to:
- Conduct research to understand the causes, effects, diagnosis, and management of economic plant diseases in North Dakota and to help advance the science and discipline of plant pathology.
- Communicate research findings to the scientific community through various avenues, including refereed publications, and to producers and other agricultural production professionals through extension and other outreach activities.
- Provide graduate level programs leading to the Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology and to offer undergraduate courses in plant pathology that service various undergraduate majors at NDSU.
- Collaborate and cooperate with NDSU breeding programs and other scientists in various units at NDSU, in the USDA, and other institutions in the state, region, nation, and the world.
Student research and academic programs are tailored to individual needs and interests. Research Assistantships are often available to support potential graduate students. Tuition is waived for students with assistantships. To be considered for research assistantships, students must apply for Graduate School.
The Plant Diagnostic Laboratory identifies plant diseases and other plant health problems for farmers and urban growers.
Extension plant pathologists help growers apply research results in controlling plant diseases. They are also involved in large adult training programs.