Water scarcity and plant disease

Impacts of water use strategies viewed through the lens of plant microbiology

In California, increased water scarcity is driving many agricultural producers to alter their water use practices. These changes include increased reliance on recycled water and low quality ground water (quality), and reduction of irrigation inputs (quantity). Our program at the University of California Davis seeks to demystify disease-risks related to changes in water quality and quantity, enabling producers to optimize water use and minimize disease losses.


Research themes:

  • Pathogen predisposition risks factors associated with groundwater and deficit irrigation
  • Effects of irrigation practices on opportunistic pathogens in the rhizosphere
  • Effects of water use on defensive mutualisms
  • Enabling water recycling: Management of pathogens in the water recycling chain
  • Using water saving methods to co-manage plant pathogen survival and spread
  • Biological approaches to mitigate disease risks associated with water use

Current Projects

Clean WateR3: Reduce, Remediate and Recycle

Funded by USDA-NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative-CAP Grant

Effects of irrigation practices on Fusarium wilt of tomato (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici) in California

Funded by the California Tomato Research Institute