LSU AgCenter Researcher Receives Distinguished Service Award

    LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth received the Distinguished Service Award at the Rice Technical Working Group meeting in Orange Beach, Alabama, on Feb. 26, 2020. Photo: Kenner Patton, Mississippi State University

    LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth received the Distinguished Service Award from the Rice Technical Working Group on Feb. 26.

    The working group is an organization of researchers and academicians that meets every two years to share information, coordinate research and find solutions for rice industry problems.

    Groth, who is resident coordinator at the AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, began his career with the AgCenter in 1984 after graduating from Iowa State University with a doctoral degree in plant pathology. He also received his master’s degree in plant pathology from Iowa State and earned his bachelor’s degree in botany from Eastern Illinois University.

    Groth was nominated by M.O. Way, a Texas A&M entomologist who said Groth is an obvious choice. “This award for Don is a ‘no brainer.’ I cannot think of any other rice researcher more deserving of this award than Don Groth, who I am lucky to call a good friend,” Way said.

    Groth has received in excess of $3.5 million in grants during his tenure at the rice station and has worked on grants totaling more than $6 million. He also has extensively published his work as both senior author and co-author in more than 450 publications, of which 105 are refereed.

    Groth was named to the F. Avalon Dagget Professorship in Rice Research in the AgCenter in 2008.

    He also has received numerous AgCenter awards, including the AgCenter Extension Team Award as a member of the Louisiana Rice Research Verification Program in 2009, the Doyle Chambers Research Award in recognition of excellence in research based on career contributions to agriculture in 2010 and the AgCenter Tipton Team Research Award in 2015.

    In addition, Groth received the USA Rice Foundation Rice Industry Award in 2012 and was recognized at the Annual Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice meeting as Rice Researcher of the Year in 2017.

    In 2019, Groth was named the first recipient of the Louisiana Rice Research Board Chair for Excellence in Rice Research.

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    Groth has initiated an extensive screening program of thousands of early and advanced-generation rice breeding lines for sheath blight, blast and bacterial panicle blight.

    He has identified several new sources of resistance to multiple diseases, including sheath blight and bacterial panicle blight. These materials are being actively used in genetic and breeding projects in Louisiana, the U.S. and overseas to enhance disease resistance.

    Groth was among numerous AgCenter faculty members and students who made presentations to the Rice Technical Working Group. Other AgCenter presenters included Eric Webster, Dustin Harrell, Anna Coker, Ida Wenefrida, Prasanta Subudhi, Jim Oard, Blake Wilson, Herry Utomo, Christopher Addison, Lovepreet Singh, Leo Gaspar, Michael Deliberto, James Villegas, David Walker, Democrito Rebong, Ben McKnight, Paola Mosquera, Santhi Bhavanam, Sam Rustom Jr., Chris Hernandez, Jong Ham, Mike Stout, Kim Landry, Brijesh Anjira, Tommaso Cerioli, Raul Guerra, Gavin Guidry, Sandeep Chapagain, Manoch Kongchum, Bradley Greer, Anna Borjas and Connor Webster, who won second place in the poster competition.

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