Texas A&M AgriLife hosted a grand opening of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology building on Texas A&M University’s West Campus on Oct. 25. This building will be the new home to advance the understanding of interactions between plants and their microbial community, or microbiome.
As agriculture works to produce more food and fiber while using less land, water and agronomic inputs, this new state-of-the-art home for Plant Pathology and Microbiology will move solutions forward for Texas A&M and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
With a motto of “Healthy plant, healthy planet, healthy people,” the department’s faculty members conduct research on all aspects of plant health and microbiology, including plant diseases, harmful and beneficial plant microbe interactions, and plant health management.
Research programs will focus on plant pathogenicity, plant signaling, plant-microbe interactions, synthetic biology and biofuels, and plant biotechnology. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service programs are located across the state at six Texas A&M AgriLife centers, and the department operates two plant disease diagnostic facilities, the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in College Station and the High Plains Diagnostic Lab in Amarillo. These diagnostic labs lead efforts to rapidly identify invasive plant pathogens coming into Texas.
The department is ranked fifth nationally for plant pathology programs and has graduated more than 30 doctoral and 23 master’s students during the last five years. The bioenvironmental sciences program is the largest undergraduate program among plant pathology departments in the U.S.
“We look forward to serving the citizens of Texas, and the world, by addressing existing issues and preparing for agricultural and environmental threats to allow Texas to grow economically while maintaining environmental sustainability.”
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.