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Lina Quesada

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Vegetable Pathology

NC State Extension

4122 Plant Sciences Building

Bio

NC State Vegetable Pathology Lab website
Extension Plant Pathology Portal
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Biography

2022    Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and NC Plant Sciences Initiative, North Carolina State University
2018    Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University
2013    Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University
2012    NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University
2011    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University
2010    Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University
2006    Visiting Scholar, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University
2005    B.Sc. Biology, Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia)
2005    B.Sc. Microbiology, Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia)

Research

I am a member of the Graduate Faculty for the Plant PathologyFunctional GenomicsBiotechnology, and the Genetics and Genomics programs at NC State. I am also part of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and the NC Plant Sciences Initiative. My program focuses on studying diseases of cucurbits, sweetpotato, and other vegetable and specialty crops to deliver novel disease management strategies.  We blend applied and basic research to provide science-based disease management recommendations to vegetable growers in North Carolina and advance our knowledge in the field of plant pathology.  Some of our research interests include studying the effect of disease management on pathogen population structure, developing molecular diagnostic tools for timely detection and biosurveillance of pathogens, understanding the development of fungicide resistance in pathogen populations, and identifying sources of host resistance for disease control.  We also conduct lab, greenhouse, and field experiments to test the efficacy of disease control measures and provide disease management recommendations to growers.  We work in close collaboration with The North Carolina Plant Disease and Insect Clinic to assist with diagnostics of cucurbit and sweetpotato diseases.

Projects in the lab are highly cross-disciplinary and diverse, providing a broad skill-set in plant pathology to undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers.  We use diverse tools including genomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, and population genetics to answer our scientific questions and translate our findings into solutions for vegetable growers and stakeholders.

For detailed information about our team, ongoing projects, scientific and extension publications, news and events, and opportunities to work in my program please visit our lab website or contact us by email.

Selected Publications

Visit our lab website for a complete list of publications.

Publications

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Grants

Date: 09/01/19 - 8/31/24
Amount: $1,010,545.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The general objectives are to search for the presence of GRKN in the southeast United States (the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia), to screen accessions of cucurbit (cucumber and watermelon), pepper and sweetpotato germplasm for resistance, and to demonstrate that GRKN can be managed and contained efficiently and effectively.

Date: 09/01/20 - 8/31/24
Amount: $1,162,242.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

Cucurbit crops, such as watermelon, melons, cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins, provide diverse, flavorful and nutritious fruits and vegetables to the American diet. U.S. production of these crops contributed an average of $1.75 billion farm gate value per year (USDA-NASS data, 2016-2018). To maintain competitive industries, it is essential that cucurbit growers, shippers, and processors can provide high quality products produced in an economically viable and environmentally sustainable manner. Plant breeding is undergoing a revolution due to rapid advances in genomics and bioinformatics. Cucurbits are no exception. Recent advances, including those achieved by CucCAP1, make it feasible to use advanced genomic approaches not possible even a few years ago. CucCAP2 aims to bring these tools to the field. We will work in conjunction with the private breeding sector and cucurbit farmers to: (a) develop advanced bioinformatic, pan-genome and genetic mapping tools for cucurbit breeders; (b) utilize genomic approaches to identify, map, and develop markers for resistances to priority diseases identified by the cucurbit industries; (c) introduce and pyramid resistances into advanced breeding lines; and (d) perform multi-location, multi-isolate trials of resistances to improve integrated disease management and determine the economic impacts of disease, and gains from control tools. Extension and outreach activities will be central to each objective to ensure that growers, processors, seed companies, and consumers benefit from our efforts.

Date: 02/24/21 - 5/31/24
Amount: $409,709.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS)

This project will develop integrated strategies to address trade barriers for export sweetpotatoes in the United States.

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/23
Amount: $81,439.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS)

North Carolina State University will develop integrated management strategies for bacterial soft rot in sweetpotato postharvest by determining which bacterial pathogens are causing disease, identifying effective products for chemical control that are acceptable for organic and export markets, and providing information on diagnostics and cultural management to stakeholders to through web-based resources, grower meetings, and field days.

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/23
Amount: $77,850.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS)

North Carolina State University will develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) biosurveillance system for precision disease management of cucurbit downy mildew through early detection of Pseudoperonospora cubensis airborne sporangia, establishing a crop’s risk of infection, and providing information on fungicide resistance. We will work closely with stakeholders to ensure system relevance and we will actively disseminate results through grower meetings and field days.


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