History of the Cereal Disease Lab
The Cereal Disease Lab has had a long history of effective research on rust diseases of small grains and service to American agriculture. USDA involvement in cereal rust research began in 1915 as a cooperative investigation between the University of Minnesota and the USDA Bureau of Plant Industry. E.C. Stakman, Professor of Plant Pathology, was appointed a federal collaborator to lead the research. In 1962, the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Minnesota and USDA,ARS was amended to establish the Cooperative Rust Laboratory for research on stem rust of cereals. At that time, a Research Leader from the USDA was appointed to lead the group. Originally, the Cereal Rust Lab was housed in the Plant Pathology Department of the University of Minnesota. This changed in 1972 when the group moved into the newly constructed federal Cereal Rust Lab, which currently houses the unit on the campus of the University of Minnesota. In 1997 the mission of the group was expanded to include research on Fusarium head blight (scab) of wheat and barley as well as cereal rust diseases, and the name was changed from Cereal Rust Lab to Cereal Disease Lab. Federal scientists at the Cereal Disease Lab retain their close association with the Department of Plant Pathology and serve as adjunct professors on its faculty.