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


Darcy E. P. Telenko, Ph. D.

Principle Investigator
Assistant Professor
Field Crop Pathologist and Extension Specialist


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.


Steven Brand

Field Research Associate


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.


Su Shim

Research Associate/Lab manager
Lab Phone: 765-496-3471


MPH   - Master of Public Health,  Purdue University, W. Lafayette
BSPS -  Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmacy, Purdue University
BS       - Biological Science, College of Life Science, Sungshin University

Current Research/Project

Evaluation of effect of tillage and hybrid variety for foliar disease; tar spot risk in corn.

Whole Geonomic Sequence of Phyllachora maydis, a perithecial ascomycete, causes a tar spot disease of maize.

More information about Sujoung Shim 


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



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


Kaitlin Waibel

Graduate Student



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


Camila Rocco da Silva

Visiting Scholar



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


Monica Sayuri Mizuno

Visiting Scholar


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

I am a visiting scholar and 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

MG and leaves

Morgan Goodnight

Graduate Student



BS - Biology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Research Focus: Determining fungicide efficacy and timing on tar spot (Phyllachora maydis) of corn, impacts of irrigation and weather/leaf wetness on tar spot severity and ascospore quantity


Emily Duncan

Undergraduate Research Assistant


I am an undergraduate student majoring in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology at Purdue University. I have been a part of the research team since May 2019. My role has been to assist in field and lab activities. These jobs include planting crops, disease rating, data processing, fungi inoculation, DNA extraction, and running gel electrophoresis. This lab has allowed me to use my molecular biology knowledge and apply it to corn, soy, and wheat diseases.

More information about Emily Duncan

Duncan, E. A., Brand, S. B., and Telenko, D. E. P. 2023. Comparison of fungicide efficacy for foliar disease of soybeans in central Indiana, 2022. Plant Disease Management Reports. Vol 17: CF031.

Duncan, E. A., Brand, S. B., S. Shim, and Telenko, D. E. P. 2022. Fungicide comparison for foliar diseases in corn southwestern Indiana, 2021. Plant Disease Management Reports. Vol 16: CF064.

Duncan, E. A., J.D. Ravellette, and Telenko, D. E. P. 2021. Evaluation of fungicide for foliar diseases on corn in southwestern Indiana, 2020. Plant Disease Management Reports. Vol 15: CF085.

Telenko Lab - Former Lab Members


Audrey M. Conrad

Former Graduate Student



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

tiffanna ross

Tiffanna J. Ross

Former Graduate Student



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


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


Victor Buitrago

Visiting Undergraduate Student


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.


Lindsey Berebitsky

Undergraduate Research Assistant


More information about Lindsey Berekitsky


Cayla Haupt

Undergraduate Research Assistant



Audrey Toogood

Undergraduate Research Assistant



Amelia Chaille

Undergraduate Research Assistant



Ryan Gray

Undergraduate Research Assistant