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Entomology and Plant Pathology

Dr. Robert Hunger, Professor

B.S., Colorado State University, 1976

M.S., Colorado State University, 1978

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1982


Room/Lab 311B/312/315 NRC



OSU Wheat Improvement Team


PLP/ENTO 5613 Host Plant Resistance
ENTO/PLP 5992     Career Skills and Professionalism


In my research, I work closely with plant breeders to release improved winter wheat varieties by screening breeder lines for disease resistance and by developing wheat germplasm resistant to diseases such as leaf rust, the wheat soilborne mosaic virus/wheat spindle streak mosaic virus complex, tan spot, and other diseases of wheat. I also investigate the effects of wheat diseases on winter wheat in Oklahoma with a focus on developing control recommendations.


In addition to teaching and research, I am the Extension State Pathologist for small grains (primarily wheat) in Oklahoma. In this capacity, I conduct foliar fungicide and seed treatment trials on wheat and provide extension/education materials and programs for producers and county extension educators in Oklahoma.

Selected professional activites:

Vice-chair, OSU Graduate Faculty, 2007-2003.
Associate Editor for Plant Disease (APS Press), 2004-1996.
Faculty advisor for Graduate & Professional Student Association, 2003-2002.
Chair of Group I (Biological Sciences) of the Graduate Faculty, 1999-1997.
Interim Head of Department of Plant Pathology, May-September, 1996.
Faculty Committee of Faculty Council, member, 1996-1993.
Faculty Council representative - Group I, Oklahoma State University, 1993-1990.


Book chapters:4
Refereed journals: 37
Other refereed professional articles: 42
Wheat cultivar/germplasm releases: 19/9
Abstracts: 61
Extension publications: 100+

Recent Selected Publications:

2009. Hunger, R.M. Wheat Disease Compendium, American Phytopathological Society, Chapters on wheat soilborne mosaic virus, wheat streak mosaic virus, and downy mildew of wheat, (in press).

2009. Chen, Y., Hunger, R.M., Carver, B.F., Zhang, H., Zhang, J, and Yan, L. Genetic characterization of powdery mildew resistance in U.S. hard winter wheat. Molecular Breeding (in press).

2006. Xu, X.Y., Bai, G.H., Carver, B.F., Shaner, G.E., and Hunger, R.M. Molecular characterization of a powdery mildew resistance gene in wheat cultivar Suwon 92. Phytopathology 96:496-500.

2005. Royer, T.A., Giles, K.L., Nyamanzi, T., Hunger, R.M., Krenzer, E.G., Elliott, N.C., Kindler, S.D., and Payton, M. Economic evaluation of the effects of planting date and application rate of imidacloprid for management of cereal aphids and barley yellow dwarf in winter wheat. J. Econ. Entomol. 98(1):95-102.

2005. Xu, X.Y., Bai, G.H., Carver, B.F., Shaner, G., and Hunger, R.M. Mapping of QTLs prolonging the latent period of Puccinia triticina infection in wheat. Theor. Appl. Genet. 110:244-251.

2005. Xu, X.Y., Bai, G.H., Carver, B.F., Shaner, G., and Hunger, R.M. Molecular characterization of slow leaf-rusting resistance in wheat. Crop Science 45:758-765.

2003. Martin, J.N., B.F. Carver, R.M. Hunger, and T.S. Cox. Contributions of leaf rust resistance and awns to agronomic and grain quality performance in winter wheat. Crop Science 43:1712-1717.

2002. Driskel, B.A., Hunger, R.M., Payton, M.E., and Verchot, J. Response of hard red winter wheat to Soilborne wheat mosaic virus using novel inoculation methods. Phytopathology 92:347-354.

2001. Verchot, J., Driskel, B.A., Zhu, Y., Hunger, R.M., and Littlefield, L.J. Evidence Soilborne wheat mosaic virus moves long distance through the xylem in wheat. Protplasma 218:57-66.

1999. Evans, C.K., Hunger, R.M., and Siegerist, W.C. Comparison of greenhouse and field testing to identify wheat genotypes resistant to tan spot. Plant Disease 83:269-273. 

Current and Former Students:

Mr. Ahmed Abd-ElMajid; Ph.D. (co-advisor with Dr. H.A. Melouk), started fall, 2007; research topic: affects of water potential on a disease of peanut and a disease of wheat.

Dr. Kazi A. Kader, Ph.D., 2010, Fitness, virulence and genetic variability in Pyrenophora tritici-repentis isolates causing tan spot of wheat in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 104 pp.

Dr. Vijay Choppakatla, Ph.D., (co-advisor with Dr. H.A. Melouk), 2006; Thesis title: Pathogenicity of Rhizoctonia spp. and Sclerotium rolfsii on wheat and peanut, and genetic variation among Rhizoctonia isolates, Oklahoma State University, 128 pp.

Ms. Brenda Tererai Trent, M.S. 2003, The bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) and barley yellow dwarf virus complex: Separation of aphid and virus effects and control with insecticide seed treatments, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 91 pp.

Mr. Brian Olson, M.S., 2001, Effect of the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) on wheat and control of the aphid/barley yellow dwarf complex with Gaucho (Imidacloprid) insecticide, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 114 pp.

Ms. Aswathy Sreedharan, M.S., 2000, Characteristics of Rhizoctonia spp. isolated from wheat and peanut and their pathogenicity and virulence on hard red winter wheat, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 119 pp.

Dr. Joe R. Montana, Ph.D., 1995, Characterization of wheat streak mosaic virus serotypes and their effect on wheat, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 173 pp.

Dr. Conrad K. Evans, Ph.D., 1995, Infection efficiency of propagules of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis isolates and evaluation of wheat for reaction to tan spot, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 104 pp.

Dr. Ali Farih, Ph.D., 1992, Components of partial resistance, mode of inheritance of resistance to septoria tritici blotch, and status of septoria diseases in Morocco, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 89 pp.

Dr. Daniel A. Brown, Ph.D., 1990, Toxin production by the fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, cause of tan spot of wheat, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 88 pp.

Dr. Charla Rae Armitage, Ph.D., 1989, Serological investigations of the interactions between wheat soilborne mosaic virus and hard red winter wheat, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 104 pp.

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