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Jim Kerns

Professor and Departmental Extension Leader

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

Varsity Research Building Module 3 Room 1108



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

2016-2021: 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:

  • Stephens, C., Ahmed, K., Gannon, T.W., and Kerns, J.P. 2021. Influence of post-application irrigation and mowing timing on fungicide fate on a USGA golf course putting green. Journal of Environmental Quality.
  • Hutchens, W.J., Henderson, C.A., Bush, E.A., Kerns, J.P., and McCall, D.S. 2021. Geographic distribution of Ophiosphaerella species in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Plant Health Progress. Accepted with revision.
  • Reeves, E.R., Kerns, J.P., and Shew, B.B. 2021. Pythium associated with root rot and stunting of winter crops in North Carolina. Plant Disease. Accepted.
  • Galle, G.H., Shew, H.D., Opperman, C., and J.P. Kerns, 2021. Population dynamics of Belonolaimus longicaudatus and Meloidogyne in North Carolina. Journal of Nematology. Accepted.
  • E.R., Kerns, J.P., Cowger, C., and Shew, B.B. 2021. Pythium spp. associated with stunting and root rot of winter wheat in North Carolina. Plant Disease. Accepted.
  • Dant, L., Martin, S.B., Kerns, J.P., and L. McCarty. 2021. Nitrogen Source Impacts Rhizoctonia Leaf and Sheath Spot Severity in Ultradwarf Bermudagrass. International Turfgrass Research Journal. In Press.
  • Carroll, D.E., J.T. Brosnan, E.H. Reasor, J.P. Kerns, C. Stephens, B.J. Horvath, and K.H. Dickson. 2021. Effects of Growing Degree Day Based Trinexapac-Ethyl Applications on Ultradwarf Hybrid Bermudagrass Putting Green Quality and Ball Roll. Crop Science. In Press
  • Rioux, R., C. Stephens, P.L. Koch, and J.P. Kerns. 2021. Symptom development, histological examination, and whole plant oxalate quantification identify model plants with potential for studying Clarireedia jacksonii– host interactions. Plant Pathol J. In Press.
  • Hampy, H., VanRyzin, B., E.L. Butler, and J.P. Kerns. 2021. Etiology and Management of Pythium Root Rot. International Turfgrass Research Journal. In Press.
  • D’Arcangelo, K.N., Adams, M.L., Kerns, J.P., and Quesada-Ocampo, L.M., 2020. Assessment of fungicide product applications and program approaches for control of downy mildew on pickling cucumber in North Carolina. Crop Protection.
  • Tredway, L.P., Soika, M.D., Butler, E.L., and Kerns, J.P. 2021. Impact of Nitrogen Source, Fall Fertilizers, Preventative Fungicides on Spring Dead Spot Caused by Ophiosphaerella korrae and herpotricha. Crop Science. In Press.
  • Crouch, J., Beirn, L.A., Boehm, M.J., Carbone, I., Clarke, B.B., Kerns, J.P., Malapi-Wright, M., Mitchell, T.K., Venu, R.C., and Tredway, L.P. 2020. Genome resources for seven fungal isolates that cause dollar spot disease in turfgrass, including Clarireedia jacksonii and monteithiana. Plant Disease.
  • Lookabaugh, E.C., J.P. Kerns, and B. Shew. 2021. Evaluating selections to manage Pythium root rot on poinsettia cultivars with varying levels of partial resistance. Plant Disease. In Press
  • Rioux, R., Townsend, R., J.P. Kerns, C. Stephens, and P.L. Koch. 2020. Oxalic acid production in Clarireedia jacksonii is dictated by pH and host specific signals. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI=10.3389/fmicb.2020.01732.
  • Hutchens, W.J., Gannon, T.W., Shew, H.D., Ahmed, K.A., and Kerns, J.P. 2020. Soil surfactants influence fungicide movement in US Golf Association putting green soil. Journal of Environmental Quality. 49: 450-459.
  • Stephens, C and Kerns, J.P. 2020. First report of Gaeumannomyces graminicola causing bermudagrass decline of ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens in North Carolina. Plant Disease: doi:10.1094/PDIS-10-19-2147-PDN.
  • Butler, E.L, Galle, G.H., and Kerns, J.P. 2019. Influence of nitrogen rate and timing, fungicide application method, and simulated rainfall after fungicide application on brown patch severity in tall fescue. Crop, Forage and Turfgrass Management. Doi:10.2134/cftm2019.03.0018.
  • Hutchens, W.J., Gannon, T.W., Shew, H.D., and Kerns, J.P. 2019. Effect of post-application irrigation on fungicide movement and efficacy against Magnaporthiopsis poae. Crop Protection. 122: 106-111.


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BS, Agronomy, North Carolina State University (2002)
MS, Soil and Crop Science, Texas A&M University (2004)
Ph.D, Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University (2008)