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Kenneth E. Damann, Jr.
Professor

Areas of Specialization/Research
Early work centered on understanding the etiology and control of ratoon stunting disease of sugarcane caused by the fastidious bacterium Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli. Efforts were directed at diagnosis and determination of population diversity of pathogens (Clavibacter = Leifsonia, Xanthomonas albilineans, Ustilago scitaminea) and N2-fixing endophytes (Acetobacter diazotrophicus, Herbaspirillum rubrasubalbicans) of sugarcane using molecular techniques. In 1998 concerns with mycotoxins (aflatoxin and fumonisin) in corn and ways to minimize contamination were begun. Results with the herbicide LibertyTM applied late in the growing season to Aspergillus flavus-inoculated corn have shown significant reductions in aflatoxin contamination without yield loss to non-transgenic hybrids. Efforts are underway to characterize the mechanism of reduction and to obtain a local use permit for farmers to apply the herbicide for aflatoxin control. In 2003 a biocontrol approach using atoxigenic A. flavus was initiated in corn. In conjunction with this effort we are characterizing the kernel infecting and soil population diversity of this fungus using vegetative compatibility groups and DNA fingerprinting approaches. I also cooperate with USDA SRRC scientists in New Orleans on mechanisms of resistance to A. flavus and aflatoxin contamination in corn, as well as LSU AgCenter scientists working on resistance breeding, agronomic and post-harvest chemical approaches to ameliorating the aflatoxin contamination problem.

Committee Assignments (University, Experiment Station and Departmental)
Department Promotion and Tenure
Departmental Representative to College of Agriculture Promotion and Tenure Committee

Professional Society Memberships
American Phytopathological Society
American Society of Plant Biologists

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Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology
302 Life Science Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 
(225) 578-1464
 

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