A Seed Science Center postdoctoral researcher has accepted a new position as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. Dr. Silvina Arias has worked at the Iowa State SSC for three years with Dr. Charles Block and Dr. Gary Munkvold on the role of seeds in the epidemiology of bacterial leaf streak of maize, caused by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum (Xvv). Her new role will be divided between research and teaching. She will continue to work in the SSC.
“I will focus on laboratory research to contribute to solving plant pathology problems through collaborative research projects,” Arias said. “I am enthusiastic to pursue research on corn and soybean diseases, particularly those caused by Fusarium, but also plant diseases caused by bacteria.”
Arias, who is a native of Argentina, earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry at the University of Cordoba. After working for several years as food analytical microbiological biochemist in the Center of Excellence on Products and Processes, she returned to the University of Cordoba to pursue a PhD. Her PhD research provided specific biochemical evidence for the phytotoxic effects of fumonisin B1 in tissues of maize seedlings, and the role of this mycotoxin in the ability of F. verticillioides to cause seedling disease.
Her research interests include interactions among plant pathogens, environmental conditions, and host defense responses, plant-microbe associations, detection of seedborne and seed-transmitted pathogens of crop plants, and analysis of mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites.
She is teaching Responsible Conduct in Research (GR ST 565) for graduate students during the Fall Semester, 2019 but is interested in teaching courses such as Introduction to Microbiology, Microbiology Laboratory or Food Microbiology.
“I am excited and grateful to face new challenges in this prestigious center with so many incredible colleagues, mentors, and friends,” Arias said. “I welcome the opportunity to pursue external funding for new research programs; to contribute to the university mission by teaching and advising students and conduct service activities to benefit the institution.”