Hero Image

Plant Pathology


Dr. Themis Michailides is a University of California, Davis, plant pathologist based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. His primary research focus is the ecology, epidemiology and control of fungal diseases of fruit and nut crops and vines, postharvest diseases, aflatoxin and mycotoxins of nut crops and figs.

Themis -pist Aus.

Dr. Themis J. Michailides, Plant Pathologist
Office: (559) 646-6546
Lab: (559) 646-6562

Research Statement
We are currently involved in research to manage Alternaria late blight disease of pistachio by cultural and chemical control approaches. A major portion of my research is devoted on the biology of Botryosphaeria dothidea, the pathogen causing panicle and shoot blight of pistachio, band canker of almond, and a severe shoot blight in walnut. We are also investigating the epidemiology of Botryosphaeria blight as affected by weather and its management by cultural, chemical, and integrated approaches. Another aspect of this research involves the development of disease models and prediction of disease risk based on inoculum levels and weather conditions. We are also involved in phylogenetic studies of Botryosphaeria spp. attacking nut crops as well as in using molecular and conventional techniques to detect and predict these diseases. A large portion of our research is devoted to the detection of pathogens, such as Monilinia fructicola (stone fruit), Botrytis cinerea (grapes, kiwifruit, pome and stone fruit, figs, and pomegranates), Alternaria alternata and other Alternaria spp. (pistachio), B. dothidea and Fusicoccum sp. (pistachio, almond, walnut, and other tree hosts), Aspergillus niger and A. flavus (pistachio, figs, grapes, and raisins), using either conventional techniques and for some of these pathogens molecular techniques. Another major project involves the study of the survival of Monilinia fructicola, the pathogen causing brown rot, prediction of the disease risk, and management of the disease by cultural and biological methods. Another project involves the study and understanding of the life cycle and infection of nut crops and figs by the aflatoxigenic fungi Aspergillus flavus and/or A. parasiticus and the development of methodology to help reduce or eliminate aflatoxin contamination in these crops. In the last 5 years emphasis was given in using an atoxigenic A. flavus strain AF36 to displace the toxigenic A. flavus and A. parasiticus in pistachio and fig orchards and an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) application has been submitted for treating initially 3,000 acres of pistachios.



Academic Application - PDF

Academic Application - Word Doc

Plant disease specimen information revised May 2019

Research Topics:

Alternaria Late Blight

Botryosphaeria Panicle Blight

Limb Dieback of Figs

Biocontrol of Aflatoxins in Pistachio and Almond Crops

Black Heart of Pomegranate

Brown rot

Plum pox virus

Efficacy and timing of fungicides, bactericides and biologicals for deciduous fruit, nut, strawberry and vine crops:
2002  •  2003 •  2003 •  2005 •  2006 •  2007 2008  •  2009  •  2010 •  2011