The Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology (PPPMB) Section is dedicated to sharing new information and educating a wide range of stakeholders on plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes.

Faculty and staff routinely work with growers, students, extension personnel, agriculture-service providers, regulators, home gardeners, and local communities on ways to diagnose and manage plant disease.


    petri plates and microcentrifuge tubes

    The clinic provides plant disease diagnostic services including analysis of plant material and soil for pathogens as well as suggestions for appropriate control measures.

    mushrooms against a black background

    Research collection with over 400,000 preserved specimens of plant diseases and fungi and more than 60,000 images of agricultural history, people, plant diseases, and fungi.

    orange fungus growing on a leaf

    An online magazine of stories about fungi written by Cornell faculty and students.

    Our goals

    • To enhance the value of agricultural and horticultural production.
    • To share research-based information and technology with stakeholders
    • To provide opportunities for training and on-site learning experience.

    Crop-specific resources

    Scientists are uncovering new information about the recognition, understanding, and management of important infectious diseases that impact grapes. They collaborate with related departments at Cornell, including breeding and genetics (viticulture), food science (enology), and entomology as well as colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other research institutions throughout the world. Their applied research foci include:

    • Applied disease biology
    • Integrated management programs
    • Disease diagnostics and loss assessment

    Faculty research programs: Marc Fuchs, Keith Perry, Katie Gold

    Resources: Cornell Fruit - grapes

    Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology supports the small fruit industry in New York by:

    • working with regional Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Berry Growers Association to improve the sustainability of the berry industries and to develop educational programming.
    • participating in field visits, providing disease diagnoses to berry growers, and helping them develop the best management plans for conventional and organic operations.
    • hosting workshops and field days to share cutting edge research and disease management practices with berry crop stakeholders
    • Disease diagnostics and loss assessment

    Faculty research programs: Kerik Cox, Marc Fuchs, Julie Carroll

    Resources: Cornell Fruit - Berries

    Faculty and staff work closely with Cornell Cooperative Extension fruit specialists and private crop consultants across the state and the nation and share key findings and disease-control recommendations directly with fruit growers throughout the Northeast. This work is also integrated with other disciplines through Cornell's college-wide Tree Fruit and Berry Program Work Team.

    Faculty research programs: Awais Khan, Kerik Cox, Marc Fuchs, Julie Carroll

    Resources: Cornell Fruit - Apples

    Faculty, staff, and students are heavily involved in disease and pathogen diagnosis and dissemination of management recommendations.They also collaborate with plant breeders to identify and incorporate genetic resistance for numerous diseases affecting vegetables.

    Faculty research programs: Chris Smart, Meg McGrath, Keith Perry, Sarah Pethybridge

    Resources: Cornell Vegetables

    Outreach education to the field crops community of New York is coordinated by two closely interacting groups: the Cornell Integrated Field Crop, Soil, and Pest Management Program Work Team and the Cornell Interdepartmental Field Crops Extension Faculty Committee.

    • These groups present annual in-service training sessions for field crop extension educators and plan several field days and educational forums throughout the state. 
    • Staff and students lead extramural educational programs that benefit field crop and livestock producers, agribusiness, food and feed industries, and rural communities in New York and the Northeast.

    Faculty research programs focus: Gary Bergstrom

    Resources: Field Crops website


    Faculty associated with tree and ornamentals programs provides research-based information, laboratory diagnoses of plant problems, and advice on management of flower and tree diseases to horticulturists. Typical audiences include greenhouse growers, nurserymen, landscape gardeners, parks, school and botanical gardeners, cooperative extension educators, master gardeners, horticultural inspectors, and home gardeners.

    Faculty research programs: Margery Daughtrey, Karen Snover-Clift