Telenko Lab - About Us

Our research program focuses on promoting sustainable and economically sound disease management practices in Indiana field crops. We have an interdisciplinary plant pathology research and extension program involved in studying the biology and management of soilborne and foliar pathogens of agronomic crops.

This research encompasses four major themes:

  1. Detection and monitoring of disease pathogens to minimize and/or detect the development of fungicide resistance or impact of new diseases in field crops.
  2. Integration and evaluation of new chemistries or tools into cropping systems.
  3. Evaluation of host resistance.
  4. Exploration of new biopesticide options to improve disease management.

The information generated from our research program is used to support extension efforts focused on providing timely and reliable information to growers and industry stakeholders to encourage the adoption of integrated management strategies for improved production efficiency and increase awareness of how diseases impact crop yield potential in Indiana.

Telenko Lab - People

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Darcy E. P. Telenko, Ph. D.

Principle Investigator
Assistant Professor
Field Crop Pathologist and Extension Specialist

Email: dtelenko@purdue.edu

Phone: 765-496-5168

Our interdisciplinary plant pathology research and Extension program is involved in researching the biology and management of soilborne and foliar pathogens of agronomic crops.

The program is focused on recognizing and understanding new and emerging diseases and their potential impact on Indiana agriculture.

Our research is used to support extension efforts focused on providing timely and reliable information to growers and industry stakeholders to encourage the adoption of integrated management strategies for improved production efficiency and increase awareness of how diseases impact crop yield potential in Indiana.

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Steven Brand

Field Research Associate

Email: ssbrand@purdue.edu

As a Field Research Associate, I am responsible for setting up and maintaining field trials in corn, soybeans, and wheat for disease management research. My job consists of field mapping and trial set up, equipment maintenance and transportation, planting, pesticide applications, trial maintenance, data collection, and harvesting.

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Su-Joung Shim

Lab Manager

Email: sshim@purdue.edu

Phone: 765-496-3471

Education

MSc (MPH) - Master in Public Health,  Purdue University, W. Lafayette
BS -  Pharmaceutical Science, College of Pharmacy, Purdue University
BS - Biological Science, Sungshin University, South Korea

Managing the lab - Implementation of experiments in Field Crop Pathology by sampling processing, data collection, data processing, and maintaining/operating the standard laboratory and lab equipment.

Current Research/Project/Publication

The parental inbred lines of the Nested Association Mapping
(NAM) population of corn show sources of resistance to tar
spots in northern Indiana.

Whole Geonomic Sequence of Phyllachora maydis, a perithecial ascomycete, causes a tar spot disease of maize (leaves and yields).

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A- Root rot phase of SDS. B- Onset of SDS foliar symptom. C- Interveinal chlorosis. D- Interveinal chlorosis & necrosis. Photo credit: Mariama Brown, Purdue University

Mariama Brown

Graduate Student

Email: brow1754@purdue.edu

Education

BS - Agricultural Education-  College of Agriculture, Science & Education, Portland Jamaica.
MSc- Plant Science - Delaware State University, U.S.

Current Research

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is one of the most destructive diseases of soybean and is caused by a soil-borne pathogen, Fusarium virguliforme. The symptoms of SDS occurs in two phases: the root rot phase, which appears early in the growing season followed by the foliar phase, which appears late during the reproductive stages. Foliar canopy symptoms are the primary field detection method for SDS. Prior to or in the absence of foliar symptoms, a destructive sampling method is used for SDS root rot diagnosis. Hence, a non-destructive technique is needed to identify SDS infected soybeans prior to visual foliar symptoms.

Several technologies that involve non-destructive and remote sensing methods have been developed for plant disease diagnosis.  Hyperspectral sensors are particularly useful for non-destructive disease detection. Visual disease diagnosis involves only perception of the visible spectrum (400-700 nm) while hyperspectral systems can measure reflectance from 350-2500 nm. Hyperspectral sensors can also identify and differentiate a disease in its asymptomatic stage as well as during early disease development. Therefore, our aim is to use hyperspectral reflectance to assess any unique spectral signature of SDS infected plants prior to foliar symptoms.

More information about Mariama Brown

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Kaitlin Waibel

Graduate Student

Email: kwaibel@purdue.edu

Education:

BS - Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette

Research focus: Field scale evaluation of fungicide timing in corn and soybean and a continued statewide documentation of tar spot (Phyllachora maydis) of corn and QOI resistance in frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) in soybeans.

More information about Kaitlin Waibel

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Camila Rocco da Silva

Visiting Scholar

Email: croccoda@purdue.edu

Education

MSc 2018 - State University of Maringa, PR, Brazil - Plant Protection
BS 2016 - Federal University of Mato Grosso, MT, Brazil - Agronomy

Current Research/Projects

My current research involves two different projects:

1. Evaluating fungicide programs and application timing on tar spot management in Indiana corn.

2. Integrated disease management of Fusarium head blight, white mold and tar spot in organic crop systems.

More information about Camila Rocco da Silva

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Monica Sayuri Mizuno

Visiting Scholar

Email: mmizuno@purdue.edu

MSc 2021 - State University of Maringa, PR, Brazil - Plant Protection
BS 2018 - State University of Maringa, PR, Brazil - Agronomy

I am visiting scholar and I help with laboratory activities such as pathogenic fungi inoculation, molecular techniques, isolation of fungi and field activities such as labeling stakes, seed counting, rating plant diseases in soybean, corn and wheat, application of  fungicides to control pathogens, collecting data, processing data, running statistics, writing manuscripts according to the data collected. I also will be part of a project about Tar spot, a very important disease that has been gaining prominence since it was discovered in the United States in 2015.

More information about Monica Mizuno

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Emily Duncan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: duncanea@purdue.edu

I am a freshman at Purdue studying Biology and have been working with Dr. Telenko and her lab since 2019. I help manage the graduate students’ field trials, collect data, and process that data. I am participating in a project tracking the severity of the corn disease tar spot across Indiana. In addition, I aid in the maintenance of the lab space.

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Lindsey Berebitsky

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: lberebit@purdue.edu

I’ve always said that I’ve been gardening since I learned how to walk. Interacting with plants is my passion, and I’m so excited to be studying them as a Plant Science Major in Purdue’s Botany & Plant Pathology Department. I am a senior in their undergraduate program, where I’ve been working in Kessler Lab since August 2019 on plant reproduction and the effects of temperature on fertility in different Arabidopsis mutants, as well as serving as a Botany Ambassador, Recruitment Chair of the Botany Club, and a BTNY 110 Teaching Assistant.

In my last year of undergraduate studies, I am thrilled to be joining the Telenko lab. Here, I’m learning about how to conduct research in field crop pathology in corn, soybeans, and wheat. This summer, you can likely find me out in the fields at ACRE and PINNEY, collecting data on different field trials and helping identify signs of nutrient deficiencies, pathogenic infections, and other forms of crop damage. In the fall, I’ll be working on Tar Spot on corn, an epidemic disease that has recently been severely affecting yields in the Midwest. It is caused by the ascomycetes fungus Phyllachora maydis, which I will be researching and attempting to isolate the spores of in the lab. I will also use results of our work from this summer in looking how different fungicide treatments help reduce the severity of the disease.

More information about Lindsey Berekitsky

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Daniel Ryan Gray

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: gray238@purdue.edu

As one of Dr. Telenko’s undergraduate research assistants, I assist in data collection, processing the data, and lab work for the field trials in soybeans, corn, and wheat. I am a senior studying Biology here at Purdue University. During this summer and growing season, I am eager to support the team and learn as much as I can to set me up for greater success in my professional career.

More information about Daniel Ryan Gray

Telenko Lab - Former Lab Members

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Audrey M. Conrad

Former Graduate Student

Email: conrad26@purdue.edu

Education

MS - Botany and Plant Pathology - Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
BS - Biological Engineering - Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Thesis Management of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in soybean using the biofungicides Coniothyrium minitans and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

More about Audrey Conrad

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Tiffanna J. Ross

Former Graduate Student

Email: ross254@purdue.edu

Education:

PhD - Plant Pathology, Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University
MSc - Agricultural Regulations (Molecular Biology & Plant Biotechnology) – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, U.S.
BS - General Agriculture – University of Guyana, Tekeyen Campus

Dissertation: Tar spot of corn: Population dynamics, economic impact, and management in Midwestern United States.

More information about Tiffanna Ross

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Natalia Pineros Guerrero

Former Graduate student

Education: M.S. Purdue University - Botany and Plant Pathology

BS- Agronomy- School of Agricultural Sciences - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá D.C

Thesis: Quinone outside inhibitor (Qoi) fungicide resistance and mating-type distribution of Cercospora sojina populations on soybean from Indiana

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Victor Buitrago

Visiting Undergraduate Student

Email: vbuitrag@purdue.edu

I am undergraduate student in Agriculture Business Management at Caldas University in Colombia, and I am visiting at Purdue University in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department, I have worked with disease management in potato and strawberry crops.

During the next five months I hope to learn a lot and support the work in the lab as Implementation of Field Crop experiments and in general all the activities we need to do.

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Cayla Haupt

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: Hauptc@purdue.edu

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Audrey Toogood

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: atoogood@purdue.edu

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Amelia Chaille

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Email: achaille@purdue.edu