Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin ResearchTitle: Historical accounts of George Washington Carver's contributions to the study of fungi and fungal diseases of plants in the southestern United States Author
Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology General Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2014
Publication Date: 5/17/2014
Citation: Bacon, C.W., Collins, D., Brown, R.L., Hinton, D.M., Frederick, L., Warren, H. 2014. Historical accounts of George Washington Carver's contributions to the study of fungi and fungal diseases of plants in the southestern United States. 114th American Society for Microbiology General Meeting. May 17-20, 2014. Boston, Massachusetts. Interpretive Summary: Abstract - no summary required.
Technical Abstract: George Washington Carver is well known for his many discoveries and contributions for increasing the utility of several classes of food due to numerous processing procedures resulting in additional value products. Dr. Carver's training as microbiologist, botanist, and plant pathologist began as a student at then Iowa State College, Ames, IA. He started his career at Tuskegee Institute as head of the newly established Department of Agriculture in 1896 where he developed a broad approach to the study of bacteria and fungi and their relationship to crops. He was designated as an official collaborator for the Mycology and Plant Disease Survey, Bureau of Plant Industry, USDA on August 1, 1935. Dr. Carver deposited over 1,000 specimens of fungi primarily from the southeastern United States, which served as an official document of fungal diseases in the southeast. The scientific significance of his fungal collection served as the guide for specific fungi in the southeastern United States and for developing control measures including crop breeding for resistance to diseases of specific crops, particularly cotton. Of great significance was the technique he developed for fighting the fungus disease of the cherry tree. His studies on fungal systematics led to the discovery of several new species of fungi some of which bear his name. We will present the historical and scientific significance of specific fungal specimen within the collection that is currently housed in the United States National Fungus Collection in Beltsville, MD. Data presented will represent a variety of archival data reflecting digital copies of the hundreds of fungal specimens he collected, as well as some that were sent to Carver for identification by others. Also presented will be some of his publications devoted to description of the many fungal diseases he described.