Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Robin A. Choudhury

Second Advisor

Hannah J. Penn

Third Advisor

Kathryn E. Perez


The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) located in South Texas has a subtropical and humid environment which is conducive for plant disease. In Chapter 1, Southern blight caused by Athelia rolfsii was collected from Edinburg, Texas in tomato and bean crops. The present study focused on assessing the role of temperature on growth and sclerotia production. We found that there is an optimal growing temperature for both hyphal growth and sclerotia production. In Chapter 2, red rot fungal disease was collected from sugarcane in Texas. Morphology, pathogenicity, effects of temperature, and biocontrol agents were assessed. Isolate morphology closely resembled Fusarium spp. due to the resemblance of canoe shaped conidia. Pathogenicity varied between isolate but not between years of collection. Temperature and biocontrol agents did have significant effects. Determining the conditions that impact plant pathogens in the LRGV can help in developing effective control efforts to reduce plant disease and severity.


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