November 02, 2009 - Agriculture is the lifeblood of the San Joaquin Valley. In 2008, total gross value of Kern County crops reached more than $4 billion. However significant economic losses are realized every year due to crop disease. California State University, Bakersfield alumnus Drake Stenger, research plant pathologist and research leader for the USDA - Agricultural Research Service, has been working to gain insight into the ways in which viruses infect plants and cause disease. He will visit the CSUB campus on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. in Science III, room 108 to speak about "Employing Reverse Genetics to Determine Virus Gene Function." The talk will illustrate the power and utility of reverse genetics.
Stenger graduated from CSUB in 1981 with a bachelor's of science degree in biology. He went on to earn his doctorate degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987. He has conducted research and taught at several universities and labs, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ohio State University and University of Nebraska. He has been in his current position with the USDA since 2006 and has published more than 70 papers and presented nearly 80 times at scientific meetings. He specializes in molecular biology, evolution and population genetics of plant viruses.
Stenger's appearance is part of the public seminar series offered by the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant also funds the "Pipeline to High Tech Professions" program, which provides scholarships to science majors at CSUB.
For more information:Thomas Meyer
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications