LSU Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology Master’s Candidates Take Top Honors in Regional Meeting Competition
BATON ROUGE – Felix Francis and Jake Fountain, two master’s degree candidates in the LSU Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, earned respective first- and second-place honors for student papers submitted during the 89th annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, or APS, Southern Division, held Feb. 5-6 in Birmingham, Ala.
A record 36 graduate students from nine universities competed in the student paper competition. The Southern Division sponsors the competition for students who are members of the Division and APS and are presenting oral papers at the division meeting. Presentations are judged on both content and presentation of the topic. Awards are $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Winners are also presented a certificate in recognition of their presentations.
Francis, a master’s candidate in the department under the supervision of Assistant Professor Jong Ham, won first place for his presentation titled “Comparative genomic analyses of the rice pathogenic Burkholderia glumae strains reveals plasticity among the genomes.”
Fountain, a master’s candidate in the department under the supervision of Associate Professor Zhi-Yuan Chen, won second place for his presentation, titled “Identification and analysis of differentially expressed maize WRKY transcription factors in response to Aspergillus flavus colonization of resistant and susceptible germplasm.”
The American Phytopathological Society is the premier society dedicated to high-quality, innovative plant pathology research. For more than a century, members of APS have been making and sharing significant breakthroughs, both for the science and society. APS is driven by a distinctive community of scientists, whose energy and commitment ensure the global advancement of this critical science. APS members represent a broad range of specialties, from pushing frontiers in the accuracy and speed of field diagnosis, to increasing understanding of plant pathology through laboratory research. Members come from academia, government, industry and private practice. The diversity of the members and science makes the society pertinent to a multitude of research areas, while the international involvement ensures that the latest innovations from around the world are available to all.