Dr. David H. Gent, Research Plant Pathologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit, and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

This research project is focused on developing effective, economical, and sustainable pest management strategies for priority diseases of hops that will reduce purchased inputs, increase crop productivity, and enhance economic development of rural communities. Current efforts are focused on the two primary diseases of this crop, powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera macularis) and downy mildew (caused by Pseudoperonospora humuli), and integration of disease and arthropod pest management tactics within a systems context. Outbreaks of these diseases occur annually in hop production regions in the western U.S., and are conservatively estimated to cost the U.S. hop industry greater than $10 million annually in additional production expenses and crop loss. Research in my lab seeks to understand aspects of the epidemiology, ecology, and population biology of these pathogens and their diseases that will lead to new disease management approaches that can be implemented at the farm level. These objectives are achieved through integration of fundamental and applied research, collaborations with other researchers in the U.S. and abroad, and hands-on technology transfer with stakeholders.