Term needed: Summer 2018

Faculty mentor name: Achala N KC

BES Facility: SOREC

Location (town) of internship: Central Point, OR

Hourly Salary: $15.00

Expected hours/week: 40

Student may be asked to work on weekends or outside of 8-5 Due to nature of this study, the intern may need to work on weekends or outside 8-5. For example if data recording for a particular treatment falls on weekend, the intern will have to work on the weekend.

Is there a Housing Benefit in addition to hourly salary? no

Student will have interaction with minors or access to hazardous chemicals. Student will need to complete a criminal background check

Student will be operating vehicles or farm equipment/machinery. Student will need to submit a driving background.


This internship is available in the Plant Pathology lab at Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) located at Central Point, OR. The region is a major producer of tree fruits, specifically pears and winegrapes. The plant pathology program at SOREC is focused on integrated disease management of these crops in Southern Oregon. This includes research on basic and applied plant pathology such as isolation and culture of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, and viruses; identification of pathogenic microorganisms by using basic morphological and/or advanced molecular techniques; research on the management of identified plant diseases using chemical, biological, or cultural control practices; epidemiology of disease development including disease progress over time, environmental factors affecting disease epidemics, disease spread patterns and dynamics etc.

As a part of understanding disease dynamics, this specific project is to understand the resistance status and mechanism of resistance in pear fire blight pathogen (Erwinia amylovora) to commercially available antibiotics. A recent study suggested higher percentage of streptomycin (a commonly used active ingredient in fire blight management) resistance in Southern Oregon Orchards. This study requires further understanding on mechanism of resistance and sensitivity to other groups of antibiotics.


The intern will assist in collecting fire blight samples from Southern Oregon orchards, isolate the bacteria from symptomatic tissues, and perform resistance screening in laboratory settings. A protocol has already been developed for these objectives. The job requirements include but are not limited to: survey and collect disease samples from local orchards or from neighboring counties, process the samples in laboratory for pathogen isolation and culture, identify the pathogen and proceed for long term storage, prepare inventory of stored pathogens, assist in data collection and enter into spreadsheets, assist research assistants or graduate students in their research. With this experiential learning, the intern is expected to learn basic plant pathology, microbiology, and/or molecular biology research skills including sterilization and isolation techniques; basic research and data collection skills; analysis, summarize, and interpret results. The intern will have opportunities to interact with local growers, attend growers meetings and learn about commercial agriculture production system.

Previous experience with laboratory equipment and working knowledge on biology, microbiology, and/or molecular biology are expected but not required. The intern is expected to work as a part of team or be able to handle independent project; has strong organizational and management skills; can effectively communicate with other lab members.