Term needed: Summer 2018

Faculty mentor name: Achala N KC

BES Facility:  SOREC

Location 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.

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

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

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 wine grapes. 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 disease management, this specific research project aims at validating the powdery mildew disease prediction models in Southern Oregon Vineyards. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease infecting wine grapes in major wine grape growing regions in United States. Since its discovery several research have focused on understanding disease epidemiology, pathogen biology, and management. As a result, several disease forecasting systems have been developed. Gubler and Thomas disease prediction model was developed for California conditions and is easily accessible and readily available to the growers. However, the model’s predictability has not been validated in Southern Oregon conditions. With validated disease prediction models, disease management can be cost effective and sustainable by timely application of fungicides and long term use of effective fungicides without losing to resistance.   

JOB DESCRIPTION

The intern will assist in setting spore traps in grower’s vineyards and collecting spore samples periodically. The collected samples will be validated for powdery mildew presence in laboratory assays. The job requirements include but are not limited to: survey and collect disease samples from local vineyards or from neighboring counties, process the samples in laboratory for pathogen isolation and identification, 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, and identification 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.