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Plant Pathology


The Langdon Research Extension Center's (LREC) Plant Pathology program is administered by Dr. Venkataramana Chapara. The program has a Research Specialist, Amanda Arens, and 3-4 seasonal employees.

Dr. Venkataramana Chapara, Assistant Research Professor, has over 20 years of experimental research experience on a wide variety of crops including field, greenhouse and laboratory research. He specializes in researching soil borne pathogens such as Phytophthora, Pythium, Sclerotinia, Plasmodiophora, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia as well as many foliar pathogens. Dr. Chapara has extension and teaching experience through guest lectures, grower/producer talks, workshops, and conference presentations. He serves as a committee member for graduate students in the NDSU Department of Plant Pathology in Fargo, ND as an adjunct faculty.

Dr. Chapara's plant pathology research program evaluates and implements disease management strategies to limit crop yield and quality loss from plant diseases in northeastern North Dakota on eight economically valuable crops. In recent years, the prevalence and severity of clubroot in canola in NE ND led their focus on this incurable disease. They have made many discoveries and received international recognition for their research. Additionally, the program generated results to address the lack of research related to controlling Sclerotinia head rot in sunflowers through a biological agent. The LREC Plant Pathology program helped generate more than $2 million in grants, authored or co-authored 14 referred journal articles, and made 80 presentations.

Amanda Arens, Research Specialist, has 10+ years of plant pathology experience at the LREC. She assists Dr. Chapara in all plant pathology research.

The Langdon Research Extension Center has 540 acres of station owned land and 205 acres of leased land for Plant Pathology, Agronomy and Foundation seed production. The LREC Plant Pathology lab was constructed in 2016. It's a well equipped bio safety level I laboratory, with the plant pathology program focusing on fungicide resistance monitoring studies. The LREC is constructing a greenhouse with a tentative completion date of September 2022.  The greenhouse will be well equipped and meet research standards for plant pathology research. Dr. Chapara's main future objective of the greenhouse is the pathotyping of Plasmodiophora brassica.

Plant Pathology Research Results:




Faba Bean

Field Pea  






Dry Bean


Soil Sampling to Quantify Clubroot Spores from Soil in North Dakota Form

Dr. Chapara's Presentations