Dr. Sarah F. Covert
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Research InterestsThe biology of fungal plant pathogens and fungal comparative genomics
My research interests are united by a focus on fungal pathogens of plants. Currently, we are studying the molecular mechanisms regulating host-pathogen interactions and fungal pathogenicity, as well as the use of fungi to control tree disease. During the 2008-2009 academic year, am participating in UGA's Study in a Second Discipline program to increase my expertise in bioinformatics and comparative genomics. I have been a member of the Warnell faculty since 1993. I also have courtesy appointments in the UGA departments of Plant Pathology, Genetics and Plant Biology that allow me to train graduate students from these departments, as well as those from the Warnell School.
A.B. Biochemistry, 1986 Dartmouth College
Ph.D. Bacteriology, 1990 University of Wisconsin-Madison
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Plant Biology
1991-1992, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona
1992-1993, Department of Genetics, University of Georgia
FANR 8200: Scientific Research, A practical skills course for graduate students that covers the scientific method, proposal writing, oral presentations, manuscript reviews, and research ethics. Required for all Master of Science students in the Warnell School. (Fall 2007)
FORS 4210: Forest Health and Protection, Covers the major disease and insect problems of forests, with an emphasis on their recognition and management. Also covers wildland fire prevention, suppression and management. (Spring 2008)
Current Research Projects- Biocontrol of annosum root disease
- Regulation of sporulation in obligate plant pathogens
- Toxin production by the soybean sudden death syndrome pathogen
- Prediction of highly expressed genes in fungal genomes
Long, T.A; Okegawa, Y; Shikanai, T; Schmidt, G.W; and Covert, S.F. 2008. Conserved role of Proton Gradient Regulation 5 (PGR5) in the regulation of PSI cyclic electron transport. Planta 228:907-918.
Okegawa, Y; Long, T.A; Iwano, M; Takayama, S; Kobayashi, Y; Covert, S.F.; and Shikanai, T. 2007. A balanced PGR5 level is required for chloroplast development and optimum operation of cyclic electron transport around photosystem I. Plant Cell Physiology 48:1462-1471.
Elmer, W.H; Covert, S.F.; and O'Donnell, K. 2007. Investigation of an outbreak of Fusarium foot and fruit rot of pumpkins within the United States. Plant Disease 91:1142-1146.
Klosterman, S.M; Perlin, M; Garcia-Pedrajas, M; Covert, S.F.; and Gold, S.E. 2007. Genetics of morphogenesis and pathogenic development in Ustilago maydis. Advances in Genetics 57:1-47.
Covert, S.F.; Aoki, T; Starkey, D; O'Donnell, K; Geiser, D.M.; Cheung, F; Town, C; Holliday, A; Strom, A; Juba, J; and Scandiani, M. 2007. Sexual reproduction in the soybean sudden death syndrome pathogen Fusarium tucumaniae. Fungal Genetics and Biology 44:799-807.
Ha, Y; Covert, S.F.; and Momany, M. 2006. Characterization of FsFks1, the 1,3-beta-glucan synthase from the caspofungin-resistant fungus Fusarium solani. Eukaryotic Cell 5:1036-1042.
"Basidiomycete specific virulence factor analysis, sporulation, and host response in the maize-corn smut pathosystem", USDA NRI CGP, 04/14/2006-04/13/2010 $399,000
"Symptom expression in sudden death syndrome: How does Fusarium virguliforme cause disease?", Iowa Soybean Association, 04/02/2007-03/31/2009 $62,942
"Biocontrol of annosum root disease in southern pine plantations", U.S. Forest Service, 08/15/2008-12/31/2009 $50,000
Miscellaneous InfoCurrent Lab Personnel (Summer 2009):
Justin Brown, Research Technician III
Sanchali Ghosh, Research Professional II
Brijesh Karakkat, Plant Pathology Doctoral Student
Shannon Ritter, Undergraduate Student
Erin Chaney, Undergraduate Student
Crystal Artis, Undergraduate Student
Office:204 Building 1 Warnell School
Office:527 Building 3 Warnell School
Lab:528 Building 3 Warnell School