Frank Lamson-Scribner, in 1885, became the first scientist commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture with the responsibility to study diseases of economic plants. His innovative approach established the foundation for applied plant pathology at the USDA. In an early international cooperative effort in plant pathology, he detailed the life history of the grape black rot pathogen. His early studies with the Bordeaux mixture introduced the American farmer to the modern era of chemical control. Scribner became the botanist and director of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. He published the first book written on the subject of plant diseases in the United States, and described a new nematode disease of potato. He asserted that the practical value of plant pathology to farmers would only follow meticulous studies of the life history of pathogens.


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