Soilborne Plant Pathology and Biological Control
Office Location: 414 Plant Biotechnology Building
Office Phone: 865-974-0219
Ph.D., North Carolina State University, Major: Plant Pathology, Minor: Soil Science
M.S., Auburn University, Major: Microbiology
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Major: Biology
Biological and cultural control of plant diseases
Diseases of biofuels and vegetable crops
Etiology of seedling and root diseases
Soilborne plant pathogens 
Teaching Program:
EPP505 Mycology
EPP512 Soilborne Plant Pathogens


Research Description:
My program is focused on the biology, biological and cultural control, and epidemiology of soilborne plant pathogens; ecology and population dynamics of beneficial soil microorganisms; and etiology of diseases of vegetable and biofuels crops.
Representative Publications:

Shrestha, U., B.H. Ownley, D.M. Butler. 2016. First report of stem and root rot of cowpea caused by Fusarium proliferatum in Tennessee. Plant Dis. 100:

Shrestha, U., D.M. Butler, B.H. Ownley. 2016. First report of stem and root rot of cowpea caused by Fusarium oxysporum in Tennessee. Plant Dis. 100 (3): 649.

Dean, D., P.A. Wadl, D. Hadziabdic, W.E. Klingeman, B.H. Ownley, T.A. Rinehart, A.J. Dattilo, B. Scheffler, and R.N. Trigiano. 2015. Analysis of genetic diversity and population structure for the US native shrub Viburnum rufidulum in Tennessee and Kentucky. J. Amer. Hort. Soc. 140: 523-531.

Hatmaker, E.A., P.A. Wadl, K. Mantooth, B.E. Scheffler, B.H. Ownley, and R.N. Trigiano. 2015. Development of microsatellites from Fothergilla ×intermedia and cross transfer to four other genera within Hamamelidaceae. Applications in Plant Sciences 3: DOI:

Shrivastava, G., B.H. Ownley, R.M. Augé, H. Toler, M. Dee*, A. Vu*, T.G. Köllner, and F. Chen. 2015. Colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi enhanced terpene production in tomato plants and their defense against a herbivorous insect. Symbiosis 65: 65-74.

Gualandi, R.J. Jr., R.M. Auge, D.A. Kopsell, B.H. Ownley, F. Chen, H.D. Toler, M.M. Dee, and K.D. Gwinn. 2014. Fungal mutualists enhance growth and phytochemical content in Echinacea purpurea. Symbiosis 63:111-121.

Butler, D.M., B.H. Ownley, M.E. Dee*, S. Eichler Inwood, D.G. McCarty, U. Shrestha, N. Kokalis-Burelle, and E.N. Rosskopf. 2014. Low carbon amendment rates during anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) at moderate soil temperatures do not decrease viability of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum or Fusarium root rot of common bean. Proc. VIIIth IS on Chemical and Non-chemical Soil Substrate Disinfestation, M.L. Guillino et al (eds), Acta Hort. 1044:203-208.

 Bishop, P.R., S.W. Huck, B.H. Ownley, J.K. Richards, and G.J. Skolits. 2014. Impacts of an interdisciplinary research center on participant publication and collaboration patterns: A case study of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. Research Evaluation 23 (4): 1-14, doi:10.1093/reseval/rvu019.

Trigiano, R.N., T.A. Rinehart, M.M. Dee*, P.A. Wadl, L.E. Poplawski, and B.H. Ownley. 2014. First report of aerial blight of Ruth’s Golden Aster (Pityopsis ruthii) caused by Rhizoctonia solani in the United States. Plant Disease 98(6):855.

McCarty, D.G., III, S.E. Eichler Inwood, B.H. Ownley, C.E. Sams, A.L. Wszelaki, and D.M. Butler. 2014. Field evaluation of carbon sources for anaerobic soil disinfestation in tomato and bell pepper production in Tennessee. J. Amer. Hort. Soc. 49 (3):272-280.

Vu*, A.L., K.D. Gwinn, and B.H. Ownley. 2013. First report of leaf spot on switchgrass caused by Pithomyces chartarum in the United States. Plant Disease 97 (12):1655.

Vu*, A.L., M.M. Dee*, J. Zale, K.D. Gwinn, and B.H. Ownley. 2013. First report of leaf spot caused by Bipolaris oryzae on switchgrass in Tennessee. Plant Disease 97 (12):1654.

Fajolu*, O.L., P.A. Wadl, A.L. Vu, K.D. Gwinn, B.E. Scheffler, R.N. Trigiano, and B.H. Ownley. 2013. Development and characterization of simple sequence repeats for Bipolaris sorokiniana and cross transferability to related species. Mycologia 105 (5):1164-1173.

Fajolu*, O.L., A.L. Vu*, M.M. Dee*, J. Zale, K.D. Gwinn, and B.H. Ownley. 2012. First report of leaf spot and necrotic roots on switchgrass caused by Curvularia lunata var. aeria in the United States. Plant Disease 96 (9):1372.

Vu*, A.L., M.M. Dee*, T. Russell*, J. Zale, K.D. Gwinn, and B.H. Ownley. 2012. First report of leaf spot caused by Alternaria alternata on switchgrass in Tennessee. Plant Disease 96 (5):763.

Hadžiabdic, D., X. Wang, P.A. Wadl, T.A. Rinehart, B.H. Ownley, and R.N. Trigiano. 2012. Genetic diversity of flowering dogwood in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tree Genetics and Genomes 8:855-871.


EPP Personnel​