Honors Program

[Honors-in-Discipline (Choose below)], Honors in Biology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Foster Levy

Thesis Professor Department

<--College of Arts and Sciences-->

Thesis Reader(s)

Gerardo Arceo-Gomez, Rebecca Pyles


Fungal phytopathogens can cause disease epidemics in crops, weeds, and
populations of native plants. To investigate the impact of a foliar phytopathogen on the native herbaceous species, Veratrum viride, a demographic and disease assessment was carried out on two high elevation grassy bald populations on Roan Mountain, Tennessee. A leaf spot disease impacted all plants in both populations, causing widespread premature senescence of leaves and stems. Disease severity increased over the course of the growing season. Based on host disease symptoms and fungal conidia morphology, Pseudocercosporella sublineolata was shown to be the causal pathogen. A study of herbarium specimens showed no evidence that the disease was epidemic in the species and no evidence of an increase in disease prevalence over time. However, the disease was more common in the mid Atlantic and southern Appalachian regions, but rare in New England.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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