Plant pathologists sponsor research interns at U of A

Aug. 1, 2011
Contact Information:

Craig Rothrock, Department of Plant Pathology
479-575-6687, rothrock@uark.edu

Fred Miller, Division of Agriculture communications
479-575-5647, fmiller@uark.edu.

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gina osburn

Gina Osburn of Chatham, Ill., prepares a DNA test as part of her research in the the C. Roy Adair Undergraduate Research Internship Program. She is using real-time PCR to determine the fungal biomass of Fusarium graminearum, a fungus that produces a harmful mycotoxin in wheat.
(Click on image to download full-resolution image.)

Terea Stetina

Terea Stetina of Pineville, Mo., inoculates cotton seedlings with nematodes and Thielaviopsis basicola (a fungus) for a spatial analysis of how these two vectors interact to cause disease in cotton. Her research internship in the Department of Plant Pathology is provided through the C. Roy Adair Undergraduate Research Internship Program.
(Click on image to download full-resolution image.)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Three undergraduate students are working as summer interns on research projects at the University of Arkansas in the Department of Plant Pathology as Adair Scholars.

Terea Stetina of Pineville, Mo., is working with U of A Division of Agriculture plant pathologist Craig Rothrock on a spatial study of the interactions between a fungus, Thielaviopsis basicola, and root knot nematodes in cotton. The presence of both of these in cotton seedlings is associated with a disease that infects the roots, though little is known about how the fungus and the nematodes may cause the disease.

Stetina is a recent graduate of Missouri Southern University in Joplin, where she earned a degree in biology. She has applied to the U of A Graduate School where she plans to work toward a master’s degree in plant pathology in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Gina Osburn of Chatham, Ill., is working with plant pathologists Gene Milus and Burt Bluhm on a study using a DNA test called real-time PCR to determine the biomass of Fusarium graminearum, a fungus that produces a mycotoxin that can be harmful to humans if the fungus is present above federally regulated levels. The test may provide a faster and more accurate means of measuring those levels.

Osburn is a senior biology major with a premed emphasis at Culver Stockton College in Canton, Mo.

Paula Panosso, a student at the University of Sao Paulo at Piracicaba, Brazil, will begin her Adair scholarship Aug. 13. She will be working with plant pathologist John Rupe investigating the effect of Phytophthora root rot on soybean roots and characterizing races of the pathogen, Phytophthora sojae, in selected Arkansas fields.

The C. Roy Adair Undergraduate Research Internship Program is funded by an endowment established in memory of a USDA-ARS rice breeder based at the Rice Branch Station near Stuttgart who helped establish the Arkansas rice industry.