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Foreign Disease Weed Science Research Unit
Outreach event at the Great Frederick Fair
Historic Fort Detrick glasshouses
The Citizen Science Project at Fort Detrick, Maryland
The USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit has two distinct missions united by a common relationship to plant pathology and the unit’s unique BSL-3 plant pathogen containment laboratory and greenhouse facilities.
The mission of the foreign disease program is to develop techniques for the rapid detection and identification of new and emerging crop pathogens, and to provide fundamental information on the biology and epidemiology of emerging pathogens for risk assessment and disease management strategies including the development of resistant plants.
The mission of the weed biological control program is to collect foreign pathogens overseas from weeds in their native habitat, and to evaluate, characterize and release the pathogens in the U.S. for biological control of introduced weeds, leading to improved, sustainable weed control practices in agricultural systems with reduced dependence on chemical herbicides.
- Kelli Thomas