Primary tabs

Virginia Stockwell

stockwev [at]

Other: (541) 738-4023

Integrated management of bacterial plant diseases with an emphasis in biological control.

  • My research focuses on utilizing biological control agents as a disease management tool. A guiding tenet of my research is that we can optimize biological control by understanding of the sources of variation in establishment, growth, and activity of antagonists. My model system is the biological control of the bacterial disease fire blight of pear and apple. We documented an increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant isolates of the pathogen Erwinia amylovora in the Pacific Northwest, which has diminished the effectiveness of chemicals for disease control and sparked interest in biocontrol. In field experiments, we evaluated the influence of weather conditions, indigenous microorganisms, orchard management practices, and stress tolerance on the establishment and growth of bacterial biological control agents on pear and apple trees. Using molecular techniques, we are enhancing the antagonistic activity of mixtures of biological control organisms to optimize suppression of fire blight.