Anton Baudoin

Associate Professor
Anton Baudoin
170 Drillfield Dr. 417 Price Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Overview

Education

  • Ph.D., Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside, 1981
  • M.S., Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1975

Expertise

  • Applied plant pathology
  • Broad range of teaching responsibilities at all levels
  • Grape diseases
  • Fungicide resistance
  • Applied plant disease epidemiology and management

Current research centers on biology and control of fungal diseases of grapes, with emphasis on powdery and downy mildew, and Botrytis bunch rot. Also, the epidemiology of boxwood blight.

Current Projects

Grapes are a growing crops in Virginia, now over 2000 high-value acres, and are considered one of the best alternatives to crops for which profitability has been declining. However, in our humid climate, grape diseases are a constant concern.  The most economically profitable varieties of grape are highly susceptible to several diseases, and for this reason grape crops are treated with frequent fungicide sprays. These intensive spray programs and the highly selective nature of modern fungicides entail a serious risk of pathogens becoming resistant to some fungicides. Currently, the main way for a grower to find out that such resistance has developed is to experience a disease control failure, which may cause severe crop loss and even complete crop failure.

Surveys conducted by my lab have discovered that grape downy mildew had developed resistance to strobilurin fungicides in many Virginia locations. Strobilurin fungicides had been playing a major role in grape disease management programs in the eastern USA, and this was the first detection of this type of resistance in grape downy mildew in North America. In addition, powdery mildew resistance to this group was also found, and resistance in both pathogens turned out to be so widespread that use of strobilurins against these diseases is no longer recommended. We have also measured the sensitivity of grape powdery mildew populations to sterol-inhibiting fungicides, another key group, and have documented that reduced sensitivity to the most commonly used compounds is widespread. One case of quinoxyfen resistance of grape powdery mildew has been investigated but appears to be of less practical concern. The most recent discovery is that of grape downy mildew resistance to CAA fungicides (mandipropamid and dimethomorph) in several locations in Virginia and one in North Carolina.

 A survey of Botrytis cinerea, the cause of grape bunch rot, revealed the presence in many vineyards of resistance to strobilurins, boscalid, the benzimidazoles, the anilinopyrimidines (cyprodinil and pyrimethanil), and to a much lesser extent fenhexamid.

My lab also participates in research on boxwood blight and mango anthracnose. Boxwood blight was detected for the first time in the United States in 2011 in North Carolina, Virginia and Connecticut, and has since spread to many states. It is a devastating disease in historic landscapes and in production nurseries. Our research aims to clarify the epidemiology of the disease, and develop strategies to minimize its impact. Further details about this disease may be found on the website maintained by the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force.

My lab also participates in a project on the biological control of the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) using a naturally occurring strain of the fungus Verticillium nonalfalfae, which has the capability of greatly reducing the invasive population.

Courses Taught

  • AT 0434: Pest Management (diseases and weeds sections)
  • PPWS 4104: Plant Pathology
  • PPWS 5204: Principles of Plant Disease Management
  • PPWS 5214: Diseases of Crop Plants
  • PPWS 6004: (Topics) Epidemiology of Plant Diseases
  • PPWS 6004: (Topics) Identifying Plant Pathogens

Previously taught

  • Principles of Biology, a course for freshman (1997 - 2004)
  • Integrated Pest Management (1980s)
  • Plant Pathogenic Fungi, a graduate course (2004-2005)
  • Fungal portion of Plant Pathogenic Agents (2006, lab portion also 2007)

Other Teaching and Advising

  • Graduate Committee SPES
  • Executive committee, Online Masters Program in Agriculture and Life Sciences,
  • 2006-2011. Editor in Chief of The Plant Health Instructor / APS Education Center, an online journal of the American Phytopathological Society focusing on the development of teaching materials

Associate Professor | 1987 – present
Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

Assistant Professor | 1981-1987
Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

Postdoctoral Research Scientist | 1980-1981
Air Pollution Laboratory
University of California, Riverside.

I contribute to outreach to grape growers (communicate research findings and general education on plant diseases and their management), landscape and garden interests (boxwood blight), and master gardener training.

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, American Phytopathological Society, 1994
  • College Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, VPI&SU, 2003
  • College Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2016
  • NACTA Teaching Award of Merit, 2016
  • William E Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching, Virginia Tech, 2017