Recognition for Plum Pox Eradication

Peaches ( members of the College of Agricultural Sciences received an Honor Award from the USDA last August for their efforts to help eradicate the plum pox virus in Pennsylvania. Prior to its eradication, the aphid-spread virus had threatened to wipe out the state’s $25 million annual production of stone fruit, which includes cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is one of the best documented cases in which a foreign invasive plant pathogen has been eradicated effectively,” said Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathology Fred Gildow.

In addition to Gildow, the other awardees included Tara Baugher, extension educator at the Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville; John Halbrendt, associate professor of plant pathology; Lynn Kime, senior extension associate in Biglerville; William Kleiner, southeast regional director for Penn State Cooperative Extension; Greg Krawczyk, senior research associate in the Department of Entomology; and James Travis, professor emeritus of plant pathology.