Dominican hosts public meeting on Sudden Oak Death

Kathy Kosta, primary plant pathologist with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, visited Dominican University of California on Tuesday to conduct an informational session about Sudden Oak Death.

Dominican University is receiving a $989,798 grant from the 2008 Farm Bill to establish the National Ornamentals Research Site at Dominican University of California (NORS-DUC). 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 (SOD) and ramorum blight on nursery stock.

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

Dominican hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 26 on its campus at the nursery site near the Forest Meadows amphitheater .

Kosta was available for the public meeting on Nov. 10 to discuss SOD.  After a short session in the basics of plant pathology, she examined plant samples brought by attendees and explained what could be ailing the plant. Samples that were deemed noteworthy, Kosta sent them to a laboratory for diagnosis by state pathologists.