Dr. Kathryne Everts
Professor & Extension Specialist
Vegetable Plant Pathology
Lower Eastern Shore Research & Education Center
27664 Nanticoke Road
Salisbury, MD 21801-8437
My research program focuses on the management of vegetable diseases that are economically important in the mid-Atlantic region and supports my extension responsibilities in the states of Maryland and Delaware. The current pathosystems that we are studying include the soilborne diseases Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum on watermelon), and white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on Phaseolus lunatus); and the foliar diseases gummy stem blight (Didymella bryoniae on watermelon), and late blight (Phytophthora infestans on tomato). By increasing our knowledge of the epidemiology of these diseases, we aim to reduce disease losses and improve the sustainability of management.
The approach towards sustainable soilborne disease management focuses on practices such as cover cropping and biological soil amendments to reduce the conduciveness of the soil environment to disease development. For example we have examined the mechanisms of suppression resulting from incorporation of a green manure of Vicia villosa or Trifolium incarnatum on Fusarium wilt. Our approach for foliar disease management is the development or verification of disease forecasting systems such as MelCast for gummy stem blight and the Cornell DSS for late blight on tomato. Practices resulting from our research have improved management of vegetable diseases, decreased fungicide usage, and increased vegetable yields throughout the region.