Renee Rioux

Renee Rioux Portrait

Assistant Professor and Administrative Director, WI Seed Potato Certification Program

Phone:  608-358-5101 (Cell); 608-262-0091 (Office)


682 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706



PhD-Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin
MS-Botany & Plant Pathology, University of Maine

Research Interests

With a faculty role that includes administration of the WI Seed Potato Certification Program, my program’s research is focused on better understanding, detecting, and managing diseases of importance to the seed potato industry. We use a combination of basic and applied research methods, as well as novel technologies, to pursue our key research questions and provide seed potato growers with practical information to aid them in successful production of a high-quality crop that meets certification standards.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Biology and epidemiology of Dickeya species causing blackleg and soft rot in potatoes
  • Rapid, high-throughput, including nondestructive, methods for detection of necrotic tuber viruses
  • Management of the seed tuber microbiome for improved disease resistance and crop productivity

Additionally, my program works closely with the various aspects of the WI Seed Potato Certification program—including the tissue culture laboratory on campus, the Lelah Starks Elite Seed Potato Farm, and the state’s crop inspectors—to identify and address research needs critical for success of the program.