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Curing Plants

Plant ‘Doctors’ Come to Town

UC MEXUS continues its series of seminars on topics relevant to Mexico and California

(November 30, 2006)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Sometimes human intervention cures plant diseases, but other times nature is the doctor, as a panel of researchers will discuss at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5, at UC Riverside.

The seminar features presentations by three scholars: Bárbara Ayala-Orozco of UC Santa Cruz, Rufina Hernández-Martínez of UC Riverside and Maria de La Paz Celorio-Mancera of UC Davis. Plant bacteriologist Donald Cooksey, a professor of botany and plant sciences at UCR, will moderate the seminar.

The discussion will center on the effect of disease and how changes in the environment affect the way disease functions in the plant community. Sometimes diseases have a positive effect, by promoting plant diversity. In other cases, the presence of a pest may incite a plant to develop its own mechanisms. In an agriculture-rich state like California, however, finding a cure may have huge economic implications for the agriculture industry and the state’s overall economy.

This is the third in a year-long series on topics relevant to Mexico and California at UC MEXUS headquarters, 3324 Olmsted Hall. The series is a project of the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), a system-wide institute that makes its home on the UCR campus. Every month through September 2007, the Institute will bring together scholars from the University of California and Mexico from a wide range of disciplines such as sociology, history, anthropology, conservation biology and environmental sciences.

All programs are free and open to the public. Guest parking in Lot 6 costs $6. Permits are available at the information kiosks at the entrances to campus.

Upcoming programs include:
January, 2007: Indigenous linguistics
February 2007: Identity politics and transnational communities.



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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