McManus, Patricia - Current Faculty Profile
Patricia McManus
Professor and Chair

391B Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706  

Faculty Profile Tab

B.S. 1986 University of Wisconsin-Madison, Botany

M.S. 1988 Michigan State University, Botany and Plant Pathology

Ph.D. 1994 Michigan State University, Botany and Plant Pathology 

My research and extension programs are focused on practical problems that affect the profitability and sustainability of growing fruit crops. Wisconsin leads the nation in cranberry production; some other fruit crops grown here include apple, tart cherry, grape, strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry. The nature of our work depends largely on the current and anticipated needs of fruit growers in Wisconsin and elsewhere. We employ a variety of cultural, physiological, microscopic, and molecular techniques, and conduct research in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field. Most projects to date have focused on the interactions of fungi and bacteria with fruit crops, but we are mindful of other biotic and abiotic factors and their role in fruit crop production. 

A new line of cranberry research focuses on the biology of Tobacco streak virus and determining the impact of TSV on yield components. During the course of our work on TSV, we discovered what appears to be Blueberry shock virus in commercial cranberry plantings. Once we know more about how these viruses spread and how disease develops in the field, we will be better able to advise growers on managing viruses.

Ongoing cranberry research is focused on the management of fruit rot, a disease complex of at least eight fungal species. Cranberry fruit rot has become more troublesome in Wisconsin in recent years, possibly as a result of more intensive growing practices intended to increase yields. We are identifying the cultural practices and climatic variables that affect the severity of fruit rot. From these findings we will develop recommendations to help growers refine their crop management practices and minimize the impact of fruit rot.

We are collaborators on the Northern Grapes Project, a multi-state effort focused on grape and wine production in the northern US. Our role is to evaluate the so-called "cold-climate cultivars" for disease susceptibility and for sensitivity to copper- and sulfur-based fungicides. Our long-term goal will be to develop economically sound integrated pest management practices for northern growers.

I have a long-standing interest in antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use in plant agriculture. Streptomycin and oxytetracycline are used to manage fire blight, a bacterial disease of apple and pear. We are using culture-independent methods to describe bacterial communities in orchards that have been treated with streptomycin, and to identify mobile genetic elements that harbor antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria. Results to date suggest that use of streptomycin for the control of fire blight has little effect on bacterial communities  on apple leaves or in orchard soil.
My extension efforts are focused on educating growers and crop consultants on: (i) identifying disease problems; (ii) managing diseases in an economically and environmentally sound manner; and (iii) managing fungicide/bactericide resistance. Extension education is conducted in large meetings of hundreds of people, in small groups, and one-on-one on the farm. 







Recent publications:
McManus, P.S. 2014. Does a drop in the bucket make a splash? Assessing the impact of antibiotic use on plants. Current Opinion in Microbiology 19: 76-82.

Wells, L.D., Perry, R.S., and McManus, P.S. 2014. Fungicide efficacy and specificity toward fungi in the cranberry fruit rot disease complex. Plant Health Progress doi: 10.1094/PHP-RS-13-0024.

Batzer, J. C., McManus, P. S., and Gleason, M. L. 2013. Fungicide spray volume and pruning impact performance of a warning system for sooty blotch and flyspeck on apple. Online. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2013-0930-01-RS.

Shade, A., Klimowicz, A., Spear, R. Linske, M. Donato, J., Hogan, C., McManus, P., and Handelsman, J. 2013. Streptomycin application has no detectable effect on bacterial community structure in apple orchard soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79: 6617-6625.

Wells, L.D., and McManus, P.S. 2013. Effects of simulated hail events and subsequent fungicide applications on cranberry fruit rot incidence and yield. Plant Disease 97: 1207-1211.

Wells, L.D., and McManus, P.S. 2013. A photographic diagnostic guide for identification of the principal cranberry fruit rot pathogens. Plant Health Progress doi: 10.1094/PHP-2013-0729-01DG.

A. Shade, P.S. McManus, and J. Handelsman. 2013. Unexpected diversity during community succession in the apple flower microbiome. mBio 4(2):e00602-12. doi:10.1128/mBio.00602-12.

A. Shade, C.S. Hogan, Klimowicz, A.K., Linske, M., McManus, P.S., and Handelsman, J. 2012. Culturing captures members of the soil rare biosphere. Environmental Microbiology 14:2247-2252

Yashiro, E., and McManus, P.S. 2012. Effect of streptomycin treatment on bacterial community structure in the apple phyllosphere. PLoS One 7(5) e37131.

Gruber, B.R., Kruger, E.L., and McManus, P.S. 2012. Effects of cherry leaf spot on photosynthesis in tart cherry ‘Montmorency’ foliage. Phytopathology 102:656-661.

Yashiro, E., Spear, R.N., and McManus, P.S. 2011. Culture-dependent and culture-independent assessment of bacteria in the apple phyllosphere. Journal of Applied Microbiology 110:1284-1296.

Gleason, M.L.,Batzer, J.C., Sun, G., Zhang, R., Díaz Arias, M.M., Sutton, T.B., Crous, P.W., Ivanović, M., McManus, P.S., Cooley, D.R., Mayr, U., Weber, R.W.S., Yoder, K.S., Del Ponte, E.M., Biggs, A.R., and Oertel, B. 2011. A new view of sooty blotch and flyspeck. Plant Disease 95:368-383.

Donato, J.J., Moe, L.A., Converse, B.J., Smart, K.D. Berklein, F.C., McManus, P.S., and Handelsman, J. 2010. Metagenomics reveals antibiotic resistance genes encoding predicted bifunctional proteins in apple orchard soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76:4396-4401.

Batzer, J.C., Rincon, S.H., Mueller, D.S., Petersen, B.J., LeCorronc, F., McManus, P.S., Dixon, P.M., and Gleason, M.L. 2010. Effect of temperature and nutrient concentration on the growth of six species of sooty blotch and flyspeck fungi. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 49:3-10.

Gruber, B.R., Davies, L.R.R., and McManus, P.S. 2010. A copper-based fungicide has minimal effects on tart cherry fruit quantity and quality. HortScience 45:48-53.

Polashock, J.J., Caruso, F.L., Oudemans, P.V., McManus, P., Constantelos, L., and Crouch, J. 2009. Species identification and variation in the North American cranbery fruit rot complex. Plant Pathology 58:1116–1127.

 Gruber, B. R., Rens, L. R., Kruger, E. L., and McManus, P. S. 2009. Effect of copper-based fungicides and leaf spot disease on photosynthetic gas exchange in tart cherry. Plant Disease 93:512-518.