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Jim Kerns

Associate Professor

Etiology, epidemiology, and management of warm- and cool-season grass diseases

Thomas Hall 2578A


NC State Turf Pathology


Present: Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, NC State University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

2012-2016: Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, NC State University, Department of Plant Pathology

2008-2012: Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jim focuses on etiology, epidemiology and management of diseases of both warm- and cool-season grasses. His research program focuses on understanding the biology of ultradwarf bermudagrass diseases, large patch of zoysiagrass, plant parasitic nematodes in turf and diseases of creeping bentgrass. The mission of the program is to provide efficacious and cost effective management strategies to turfgrass managers in NC and beyond. His program also houses the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab, which is managed by Lee Butler.

Selected Publications:

  • Zeng, Y., W. Ye, Zhang, Z., Sun, H., Yang, L., Huang, Y., Zhao, K., Liang, H., and J.P. Kerns. 2016. Morphological and molecular characterization of Xiphinema spp. populations from Shenzhen, China. Helminthologia 53: 62-76.
  • Roberts, J.A., D.F. Ritchie, and J.P. Kerns. 2016. Plant growth regulator effects on bacterial etiolation of creeping bentgrass putting green turf caused by Acidovorax avenae. Plant Disease 100: 577-582.
  • Ye, W., Zeng, Y., and J.P. Kerns. 2015. Molecular characterization and diagnosis of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) from turfgrasses in North Carolina, USA. PLoSOne
  • Koch, P.L. and J.P. Kerns. 2015. Temperature influences persistence of chlorothalonil and iprodione on creeping bentgrass foliage. Plant Health Progress doi: 10.1094/PHP-RS-15-0012.
  • Roberts, J.A., D.F. Ritchie, and J.P. Kerns. 2015. Bacterial etiolation of creeping bentgrass as influenced by biostimulants and trinexapac-ethyl. Crop Protection. Crop Protection 72: 119-126.
  • Koch, P.L., J.C. Stier, and J.P. Kerns. 2015. Influence of snow cover on the persistence of chlorothalonil and iprodione on golf course turfgrass. Plant Pathology 64: 1417-1428.
  • Zeng, Y., W. Ye, L.P. Tredway, S.B. Martin, M. Martin, and J.P. Kerns. 2015. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic relationships of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with turfgrasses in North Carolina and South Carolina, USA. Plant Disease. 99: 982-993.
  • Ye, W., Y. Zeng, and J. Kerns. 2015. First report of Trichodorus obtusus on turfgrass in North Carolina, USA. Plant Disease, 99: 291.
  • Rioux, R.A., J. Shultz, M. Garcia, D.K. Willis, M. Casler, S. Bonos, D. Smith, and J. Kerns. 2014. Sclerotinia homoeocarpa overwinters in turfgrass and is present in commercial seed. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110897.
  • Zeng, Y., W. Ye, K. Zhao, Y. Huang, Z. Zhang, and J. Kerns. 2014. Morphological and molecular characterization of two isolates of Paratrichodorus porosus from Shenzhen, China. Helminthologia. 51: 323-330.
  • Zeng, Y., W. Ye, and J. Kerns. 2014. First report and morphological and molecular characterization of Meloidogyne incognita from Radermachera sinica in China. Nematropica 44: 118-129.
  • Rioux, RA, Van Ryzin, BJ, Kerns, JP. 2014. Development of a semi-selective medium for isolation of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa from plant tissues. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. Pgs 235-245.


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BS, North Carolina State University
MS, Texas A&M University
Ph.D, North Carolina State University