Nicole T. Lukasko

Graduate Student
Ph.D. Research: Fungicide resistance in Botrytis of ornamentals

A woman with long blond hair standing in the middle of a greenhouse with pink lighting.Email Nikki:
164 Plant Biology Lab
(517) 355-4576

  • B.S., Microbiology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

The causative agent of gray mold, Botrytis cinerea, is regarded as the second most important plant pathogen in the world.  The fungus can infect hundreds of valuable crops, causing damping off, leaf spots, rots, cankers, and blights.  My research focuses on the pathogen in a greenhouse setting, on ornamental plants including poinsettia, geranium, and petunia.  In the United States, Michigan is a top producer of major floriculture crops, with a total wholesale value of $398 million in 2015.  Growers are required to put a significant amount of energy and money into gray mold disease management, because even the smallest amount of plant damage reduces its salability.  Fungicides are the most heavily relied on form of disease control, but resistance in Botrytis populations is common due to its flexible genetic nature, high fecundity, and ability to survive as a saprophyte.  I am currently evaluating fungicide resistance in Botrytis collected from ornamental greenhouses throughout Michigan.  Ultimately, this project aims to provide growers with tools to better control gray mold.

Nikki’s Publications

Higgins, D.S., Peterson, A.M., Lukasko, N.T., and Hausbeck, M.K.   Apiaceae chapter in: Plant Disease Management; Handbook of Vegetable and Herb Diseases.  Elmer, W.H., Tuttle McGrath, M., and McGovern, R.J., eds.  Springer International Publishing, New York.  (In review).

Lukasko, N. and Hausbeck, M.K. 2022. High fungicide resistance frequencies in Botrytis cinerea from ornamental greenhouses. Phytopathology (In press).

Lukasko, N.T., Harlan, B.R., and Hausbeck, M.K. 2022. Evaluation of drench fungicide applications for the control of Pythium root rot of geranium, 2021. Plant Disease Management Reports 16:OT029.

Lukasko, N.T., Harlan, B.R., and Hausbeck, M.K. 2021. Evaluation of fungicide applications for control of downy mildew of impatiens in the greenhouse, 2020. Plant Disease Management Reports 15:OT022.

Lukasko, N.T., Engfehr, C.L. and Hausbeck, M.K.  2020. Evaluation of fungicides for the control of powdery mildew on butternut squash, 2019. Plant Disease Management Reports 14:V159.

Lukasko, N.T., Harlan, B.R., and Hausbeck, M.K. 2020. Evaluation of Broadform residual control of gray mold on poinsettia, 2020. Plant Disease Management Reports 14:OT016.

Lukasko, N., Harlan, B.R., and Hausbeck, M.K. 2019. Susceptibility of geranium and snapdragon cultivars to Pythium irregulare. Phytopathology 109(10S):S2.93-94.