Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology (Graduate Program)


Program Overview

Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases from identification, understanding the host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level, to the development and testing of field level disease management protocols. The need for professionals in this area has never been greater because of the burgeoning world population and the worldwide movement of destructive plant pathogens. In addition, there is a constant demand for new agricultural technology related to food security because of the emphasis on environmental stewardship and the ever-increasing need to produce more food and fiber on a finite land area.

Crop physiology is the study of molecular, biochemical and physiological processes that are required for plant growth and development beginning with seeds and progressing to the physiology of yield formation. In addition, this field studies the mechanisms by which plants adapt to environmental stresses such as salinity, drought and high temperatures and develops new approaches to enhance crop tolerance to the ever increasing abiotic stresses due to global warming. Both fields are involved in the discovery of new knowledge and its application to improve  food and fiber production.

The Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology at LSU is recognized nationally and internationally for mission-oriented, fundamental and transformative research on diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and viruses of economically important agronomic and horticultural crops as well as coastal plants. Conditions in Louisiana allow cultivation of and research on semitropical crop species such as corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sugarcane, and sweet potatoes. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station personnel who conduct investigations in areas of plant pathology and crop physiology at various research stations across the state. The department’s MS and PhD graduates are prepared for appointments at universities, in government and private research labs, or in international agricultural development. Other employment opportunities exist in the agricultural chemical industry, with government regulatory agencies, or with private research foundations. Prospective students should consult the website and correspond with faculty members whose programs most closely match their professional interests.


Lawrence E. Datnoff, Head
Zhi-yuan Chen, Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee
TELEPHONE 225-578-1464
FAX 225-578-1415
E-MAIL plantpath@lsu.edu
WEBSITE www.lsu.edu/ppcp


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying for graduate admission.

Applications for admission to the LSU Graduate School must be received by May 15 for the summer and fall semesters and October 15 for the spring semester. Transcripts of academic work completed at LSU are not necessary. Results from the GRE exam (verbal and quantitative) should be sent directly to the LSU Graduate School by Educational Testing Services. These test scores are required before any application can be considered. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based exam, 213 on the computer-based exam, and/or 79 on the Internet-based test, a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS, or a score of at least 59 on the PTE is required of all international students. Also required for admission are three letters of recommendation by individuals who know the applicant’s academic and professional qualifications. Course prerequisites for entrance into the MS or PhD program vary by area of specialization. Further information on graduate studies in the department may be obtained by emailing plantpath@lsu.edu.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available through the department or other units in the form of research or teaching assistantships. A student should contact the faculty member of interest or the department head for more information on available assistantships. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School.

Graduate Faculty

(check current faculty listings by department here)

Zhiyuan Chen (M) • Host resistance, host-fungal pathogen interactions, mycotoxin
Christopher A. Clark (M) • Sweet potato pathology, disease control
Patrick D. Colyer (3F) • Plant pathology
Lawrence E. Datnoff (M) • Administration, plant pathology, silicon nutrition and plant disease resistance
Vinson Doyle (6A) • Mycology, systematics, population genetics, phylogenomics
Michael P. Grisham (3F) • Sugarcane pathology
Donald E. Groth (M) • Plant pathology, host resistance in rice and wheat
Jong H. Ham (M) • Phytobacteriology, disease control, genetics
Jeffrey W. Hoy (M) • Sugarcane pathology, pathogen detection and identification, IPM, host plant resistance
Ely Oliveira-Garcia (6A) • plant –pathogen interactions, fungal genetics, fungal effector biology, disease management
Guy Boyd Padgett (3F) • Plant pathology, disease management in row crops, epidemiology, IPM
Paul P. Price, III (3F6A) • Field crops pathology, disease management, epidemiology
Jonathan K. Richards (6A) • Fungal biology, molecular plant-microbe interactions, genomics, host-parasite interactions
Raghuwinder Singh (3FM) • Plant diagnostics, pathogen detection and identification, disease control, IPM
Sara Thomas-Sharma (6A) • Field crop pathology, epidemiology
Rodrigo A. Valverde (M) • Plant virology, pathogen detection and identification


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Science