SIPS Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology Section
We are making new scientific discoveries about the interactions between plants and microbes and developing innovative solutions to address the challenges of 21st century agriculture across the globe. We offer students and postgraduate scholars unparalleled opportunities to study the origins and consequences of plant diseases. At the same time, we provide essential information to decision-makers, including agriculture producers, educators, policymakers, home gardeners, and local communities. Learn more about the history of our section and the vision of our school.
Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology
Understanding the mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions and developing innovative solutions for disease control in the 21st century
Cross-cutting themes & tools
From fundamental biology to sustainable disease management with cutting-edge tools of digital agriculture, to pathogen management in international settings, research in Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology addresses many important questions and needs
PPPMB researchers are identifying virulence factors and their targets to uncover sources of susceptibility and resistance and exploring how beneficial interactions with microbes can promote plant health.
Plants fight to grow and thrive in the face of threats from diverse pathogens. Our researchers combat these threats with strategies like early detection, reduced inoculum and control measures, making use of cutting-edge tools in digital agriculture.
The PPPPMB Section has a long history of research on global food security with individual faculty participating in a network of collaborations at Cornell and international centers and universities.
Graduate and undergraduate training
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology offers degrees and training opportunities at all stages of the educational pipeline
Graduate field of PPPMB
Graduate field of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology: Students interested in obtaining an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in this field can select among three concentrations:
Biology and integrated management of plant disease organisms
Fungal and oomycete biology
Fungi and oomycetes including genomics, ecology and systematics
Molecular genetics of interactions between microbes and plants
Undergraduate — plant sciences major
Undergraduates majoring in the plant sciences can choose to concentrate in plant pathology and plant-microbe biology, preparing them for careers related to disease and pest management, and for graduate study in plant pathology, mycology and the biology of plant-microbe interactions.
Undergraduate — Fungal Biology Minor
Cornell is one of few places in the United States where students can receive in-depth training on fungi and their impacts. Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in fungal biology that provides a deep knowledge of fungi and expands their versatility in the workplace.
Undergraduate research — Summer Research Scholars
Undergraduate research — Microbial Friends & Foes
The Microbial Friends & Foes undergraduate research experience is sponsored by the Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease. Participants are placed in host labs at Cornell working on many different aspects of microbial interactions with plants and animals.
Undergraduate research — other
The Office of Undergraduate Research provides information about exploring the wealth of research opportunities at Cornell.
The Honors Program in Biological Sciences is designed to offer advanced training in laboratory and field research through the performance of an original research project under the direct guidance of a member of the Cornell faculty.
Master of Professional Studies
Our MPS programs are one-year, course-based degrees, ideal for individuals interested in in-depth study of the issues and advancements in plant and soil sciences. Choose from specializations in Controlled Environment Agriculture, viticulture, public garden leadership, hemp science, plant protection, geospatial applications and more.
News from the SIPS PPPMB Section
Learn more about recent developments in research, outreach, and education in Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe biology
Horst received his bachelor’s degree in plant science from Ohio University in 1957. After earning a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the Ohio State University in 1962, he served as director of the plant pathology laboratory at Yoder Brothers Inc...