Sustainable disease management is the unifying concept that connects the wide range of individual faculty programs in the department - from those that focus on the interactions of microorganisms and plants to those that focus on the near-term solutions for specific plant health problems. This common, overarching goal is what makes the department greater than the sum of its individual programmatic parts.
Sustainable disease management typically involves an integration of various individual component actions, which include:
- planting nursery material or seeds that do not harbor harmful pathogens
- using plant varieties with genetic resistance to disease
- implementing cultural practices that inhibit pathogen development and/or improve a plant's ability to withstand pathogen attack
- deploying agricultural pharmaceuticals and/or biological control agents to inhibit pathogen and disease development