Plant Pathology Graduate Program

Research Areas

Plant Disease Management

Management of plant diseases is of singular importance to the discipline of plant pathology. Development of strategies to accomplish that objective is based upon accurate identification of the specific causal agent of a particular disease, followed by sound biological knowledge of the life and disease cycle of that agent. Weak links in the life and disease cycles are then targeted with specific and efficacious management strategies. Such strategies include cultural, biological, genetic, physical, chemical, and regulatory approaches, which are applied either alone or combined into an integrated plant disease management program.

Host pathogen interactions

Host-pathogen interaction laboratories are interested in the host mechanisms to defend against pathogens and the strategies pathogens use to establish infection and to suppress host defense responses. We employ genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging to investigate the fundamental biology underlying host-pathogen interactions in both model host species and crops.


Microbial genomics and genetics

Molecular and genomic tools are providing new ways to explore functions and roles of plant-associated microbes. Plant Pathologists at UC Riverside use high throughput sequencing and functional genomics technologies to identify microorganisms, sequence and compare complete genomes, evaluate the expression of genes, and explore gene-silencing mechanisms. These approaches can help identify genes and mechanisms important for disease and adaptations necessary for transmission and association with hosts and vectors. UCR researchers are also developing cutting edge applications of genomic technologies to study plant disease and plant mutualistic symbionts.


Microbial ecology and evolution

The study of organisms in their environment and their evolutionary history enables a better understand the origins and potential management of native- and agro-ecosystems. UC Riverside Plant Pathologists use morphological, molecular and culture-based approaches to study microbes in the rhizosphere and soil, as well as in association with plants, insect vectors and other animals. This includes comparing the plant-associated microbes of invasive versus native plants, both in California and in their habitats of origin. This effort allows us to search for important mutualistic symbionts and biological control agents for managing our agricultural and natural resources.

Undergraduate Courses offered by the Plant Pathology Department Faculty

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Contact Information

Graduate Program in Plant Pathology
1140 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (800) 735-0717 or (951) 827-5688
Fax: (951) 827-5517
E-mail: laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Boyce Hall 1463

Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-4294
E-mail: margarita.flores@ucr.edu