Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Foster Levy

Committee Members

James T. Donaldson, Aruna Kilaru, Christopher Ulrey


Lilium grayi (Gray’s Lily), a southern Appalachian endemic species, is threatened by a Lilium-specific fungal pathogen, Pseudocercosporella inconspicua. The disease is characterized by tan lesions that can cause early senescence, while also lowering seed production and viability. This project tested for P. inconspicua conidia and accessed health at nine locations. The disease was present and ubiquitous across the range of L. grayi. Through identification of P. inconspicua conidia in the field, L. superbum (Turk’s Cap Lily) was identified as an additional host, while L. michauxii (Michaux’s Lily) was disease-free. However, infection was inducible in both species. With the disease widespread in L. superbum and this species represented by many large populations, L. superbum may act as disease reservoir, further complicating the outlook for L. grayi. The disease should be considered an epidemic because of its impact on individual plants, its commonness within populations, and its ubiquity across the geographical range.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.