Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

John Coleman

Second Advisor

Douglas Chan

Third Advisor

Joy Flasch


Many diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi are responsible for the ruin of a great number of crops annually. At present, many of these crops are being treated for diseases by synthetic or man-made chemicals. Some of the chemicals have been proved to have adverse effects on the environment, including humans and animals. Very few non-chemical means are available to farmers at this time to control these pathogens. This is due to the fact that many of the means of control have little effect against the pathogens or diseases. This research attempts to isolate microorganisms from the soil which in turn will be tested against a particular fungi for inhibition of the fungal growth. It is hoped that these microorganisms will open pathways leading to the discovery of new non-chemical toxins which could be used against plant pathogens. As a result of the use of non-chemical toxins, many crops could be saved from destruction each year. It is also hoped that these non-chemical toxins will be safer for the environment, are target-specific for a particular pathogen, and are easily biodegradable, thus reducing long-term effects.