The last few weeks have been challenging with travel and ensuring that all things work smoothly at the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab. A few good news and a bunch of not so good ones. On the good side, we will be receiving some (minor) funding in a collaborative project with several other universities to take images of plant pathogen and to catalog them so that it may be used as a tool and reference for pathogen identification. We are also expecting a new staff member (Extension Assistant) in January to help with the coordination for the Plum Pox Virus survey, primarily. This person will also be involved in another project to validate some new developed genetic detection tools (another collaborative grant with several other universities). On the bad side, equipment keep breaking and repair people are had to find. Currently we are down an incubator, a storing refrigerator, and the -80°C freezer is acting up. All these will cause money = headache for me!
Nonetheless, samples keep coming in for diagnosis (that is good…) And I was glad to see in today’s posting on the Greenhouse Management news website (a magazine directed to greenhouse professionals) several topics related to plant disease issues. One of those is on “Using a diagnostic clinic” . Another is a link to a fact sheet from Cornell Extension on some common diseases of floral crops. And there is also a report of chrysanthemum white rust showing up again in Maryland. If you get a chance, check out these short articles.
The first part of next week will be the National Plant Diagnostic Network meeting in Berkeley, CA. Undoubtly one of the major topics will be about funding. The TPDDL does rely on some of these federal grant funds to function. To know more how you can help, check out the NPDN website (http://npdn.org)
Have a great weekend and happy planting and caring for plants!