Sara E. Getson

Graduate Student
M.S. Research: Fusarium diseases of perennial specialty crops

Sara Getson

Sara in a ginseng garden.

Email Sara:
164 Plant Biology Lab

  • B.S., Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University
    • Minors in Plant Pathology, Entomology, Mushroom Science and Technology
  • B.S., French and Francophone Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Welcome to the world of fungi!  The fungal genus Fusarium is a group of soilborne plant pathogens which cause root rots and vascular wilts of the host plant, thereby significantly decreasing yield of the infected crop.  This is particularly problematic for perennial crops, such as ginseng and asparagus, which can take 2-4 years to establish before yielding a first harvest.  Due to the amount of time needed to get these crops started, disease pressures can build from year to year.  This affects both the roots and the canopy of the plants.  Due to high overhead costs for growers, this is especially concerning.  Thus, with all of this in mind, my research focuses on finding out which particular species of Fusarium are present in soils where ginseng and asparagus are being grown.  Once that is complete, I will try to determine their pathogenicity with respect to these perennial crops.  This will help us to conclude which ones may actually be causing problems for the plants.  Being able to specifically target the troublesome Fusarium species will help us to better develop management strategies for these specialty crops.  In order to achieve these goals, I am working with ginseng growers in Wisconsin and asparagus growers in northern Michigan to obtain samples and to run trials in order to get an idea of the big picture.  Let the adventure begin!

Asparagus field

Asparagus field.

Sara’s Publications

Getson, S., Pecchia, J., Behari, A., Kuldau, G.  2016.  Do mycotoxins in mushroom substrate accumulate in Agaricus bisporus basidiocarps?  American Phytopathological Society Northeastern Division Meeting, Ithaca, NY, 29-21 Oct.