June 2024 - 38

DUETS | BY PETER KONJOIAN AND MARGERY DAUGHTREY
Plant pathology perspective
from floriculture royalty
Joining me today is Margery Daughtrey, Ph.D., senior
Extension associate at Cornell University's Long Island
Horticultural Research & Extension Center in Riverhead,
New York. Margery earned her bachelor's degree at The
College of William and Mary in biology, her master's at
the University of Massachusetts in plant pathology, and a
doctorate at Cornell University in plant pathology.
She started her career as an extension associate on
Long Island in 1978 focusing on diseases of ornamental
plants. Daughtrey continues to work with greenhouses,
nurseries and tree companies, running a diagnostic
lab, conducting research and participating in Extension
activities that include problem solving, writing and
speaking on plant disease management.
Peter: Welcome to Duets, Margery, a fun question
to start: How did you become interested in plants and
horticulture as a career path?
Margery: I was hooked on science as a career during
a field trip in kindergarten, when we saw a fly in mindblowing
detail through a microscope in a friend's
father's laboratory. My best friend and I had marvelously
encouraging teachers at school and spent many happy
hours in the woods and by the creek, seeking out
wildflowers, Golden Nature Guide in hand. At home, my
parents grew azaleas, nasturtiums, apple trees, corn and
lettuce, and I had potted begonias on my windowsill.
Peter: Well sister, you win! No one in this column's
eight years has cited kindergarten as career defining. You
brought back memories as we're of the same generation
that grew up exploring nature and science in the woods.
My neighborhood group spent hours in the woods and
fields with joyful imaginations. Our parents didn't know
where we were but trusted us to stay out of trouble. My
wife and I feel badly that our children missed that fun -
youngsters today are in so many organized activities. What's
your view of the current state of plant pathology as it
relates to commercial growers?
38
JUNE 2024 GPNMAG.COM
Margery: When I think back over the past, I see all
the contributions that plant pathologists have made to
help growers make good everyday decisions - and to
bail them out of deep problems. When bacterial blight
was the scourge of field-stock geraniums in the '50s, it
was partnership between great minds in industry and
universities that led to an effective culture-indexing
system that made it safe to grow geraniums again.
When powdery mildew appeared on poinsettias, plant
pathologists worked out the scouting and treatments
to halt the total crop losses that would have occurred if
the fungus had had its way, and they spread the news
to growers. When the Western flower thrips extended its
territory and began carting impatiens necrotic spot virus
all over the place, university research defined the problem,
worked on solutions and did a massive extension effort to
help growers protect their crops.
When impatiens downy mildew rocked the bedding
plant industry, USDA-ARS and university researchers
working with the industry and provided critical
information and extensive extension efforts to help
businesses survive that threat.
Peter: Your perspective to those outbreaks is valuable,
they were challenging for everyone involved. Revisiting
them brings appreciation for the connections between
research, extension and production and how effectively
these connections have served floriculture.
I sense a difference in how the two of us operate,
research-wise. Much of my work has been in plant growth
regulation where products are used to improve crop
quality rather than address crop survival. Your work
deals with crop life and death. Identify a pathogen, find
a remedy, educate growers. I consider your conference
presentations to be appointment viewing knowing you
are always timely, informative and genuinely committed
to helping growers. Watching you operate led me to the
descriptor " Floriculture Royalty " for this article but you
eclipsed me by suggesting " Princess Mildew " is more
appropriate. Details please.
http://www.GPNMAG.COM

June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2024

Table of Contents
Editor's Report | Labor updates
Legislation | Tackling ag labor
Management | All-in-one installation
Labor | Labor survey report
Labor | New H-2A worker protections will start this year
CAST 2024 | CAST crazes of 2024
Pest & Disease Management | Start clean, stay clean
Biologicals | Plant health and biologicals
Dr. Bugs | Biological control agent of Western flower thrips
Forty Under 40 Perspectives | Remote Sales success
Culture Report | Sparkling new Princettia varieties
Duets | Plant pathology perspective from floriculture royalty
AmericanHort | Dive deeper and gain an edge
Product Marketplace
Industry News
Classifieds/Ad Index
June 2024 - 1
June 2024 - 2
June 2024 - Table of Contents
June 2024 - Editor's Report | Labor updates
June 2024 - 5
June 2024 - 6
June 2024 - 7
June 2024 - Legislation | Tackling ag labor
June 2024 - 9
June 2024 - Management | All-in-one installation
June 2024 - 11
June 2024 - 12
June 2024 - 13
June 2024 - Labor | Labor survey report
June 2024 - 15
June 2024 - Labor | New H-2A worker protections will start this year
June 2024 - 17
June 2024 - CAST 2024 | CAST crazes of 2024
June 2024 - 19
June 2024 - 20
June 2024 - 21
June 2024 - 22
June 2024 - 23
June 2024 - Pest & Disease Management | Start clean, stay clean
June 2024 - 25
June 2024 - Biologicals | Plant health and biologicals
June 2024 - 27
June 2024 - 28
June 2024 - 29
June 2024 - Dr. Bugs | Biological control agent of Western flower thrips
June 2024 - 31
June 2024 - Forty Under 40 Perspectives | Remote Sales success
June 2024 - 33
June 2024 - Culture Report | Sparkling new Princettia varieties
June 2024 - 35
June 2024 - 36
June 2024 - 37
June 2024 - Duets | Plant pathology perspective from floriculture royalty
June 2024 - 39
June 2024 - 40
June 2024 - 41
June 2024 - AmericanHort | Dive deeper and gain an edge
June 2024 - 43
June 2024 - Product Marketplace
June 2024 - 45
June 2024 - 46
June 2024 - 47
June 2024 - Industry News
June 2024 - 49
June 2024 - Classifieds/Ad Index
June 2024 - 51
June 2024 - 52
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