Dominican University receives $1 million to study Sudden Oak Death

SAN RAFAEL - Dominican University of California is receiving a $989,798 grant from the 2008 Farm Bill to establish the National Ornamentals Research Site at Dominican University.

Scientists from the national and international research community will conduct studies focused on understanding and controlling Phytophthora ramorum, the plant pathogen known to cause Sudden Oak Death and ramorum blight on nursery stock.

The research site will be the first in the United States dedicated to the study of diseases of ornamental plants in a simulated nursery setting.

The grant is administered through the United States Department of Agriculture, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, and the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology. The grant is the largest that the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology has ever awarded to a single organization in one year. While the grant provides one-time funding, Dominican can re-apply each year through the 2008 Farm Bill for additional funds.

“The positive economic impact that research conducted at this site will have on the nursery industry cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Sibdas Ghosh, associate dean for academic development in Dominican’s School of Health and Natural Sciences. “This site will provide valuable data that will aid in reducing long-range spread of Phytophthora ramorum through infested nursery stock shipments.”

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