Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Tomaso-Peterson, Maria

Committee Member

Allen, Thomas Ward, Jr.

Committee Member

Baldwin, Brian S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The establishment of perennial grasses as biomass crops has increased the production acreage of giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x gigantues Greef et Deu, MXG). Yield loss and establishment failure could be detrimental to the sustainable production of this crop, and therefore, exploitation of differentiation in cultivar response to fungal diseases could be a key management strategy. A study was initiated in 2010 to evaluate MXG cultivars for foliar disease incidence (FDI) and compare to switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L., SG) cultivars, isolate and identify fungi from symptomatic leaf material, and demonstrate through Koch’s postulates the ability of these fungi to incite symptoms observed in the field. Giant miscanthus FDI ratings were similar between MXG cultivars, but significantly lower when compared to SG cultivars. Thirty genera of fungi were identified from fungal collections, and 16 pathogenic genera were isolated. Twelve isolates were selected and four were demonstrated to be pathogenic on Mxg.