Jan Byrne, Ph.D.

Jan Byrne
Telephone: 517-355-3504

MSU Extension

Plant Pathology Diagnostician

Center for Integrated Plant Systems
578 Wilson Road, Room 107
East Lansing, MI 48824


B.S., Cornell University, Plant Science
M.S., Michigan State University, Plant Pathology
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Plant Pathology


General areas of expertise:    

Plant disease diagnosis
Disease management
Evaluation of abiotic factors that affect plant health

  • Phytophthora ramorum detection

Overview of current program:  

I am a member of a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team; as such I am primarily responsible for the diagnosis of plant diseases.  Annually, our lab receives approximately 1,000 – 1,500 plant samples for plant health analysis.  These samples are primarily from within Michigan and represent both commercial growers and private citizens.

Additionally, I enjoy collaborations with my department colleagues that allow us to recognize and address challenges to Michigan’s agriculture.  Through some of these collaborations we have implemented molecular-based diagnostic techniques that were developed in research programs and augment traditional methods.

As part of a federal program, I receive samples for Phytophthora ramorum testing.  While not currently present in Michigan, this is an extremely destructive pathogen and is a potential threat to Michigan’s forests and nursery industry.

Michigan States’ Diagnostic Services Lab is the regional center for the North Central Plant Diagnostic Network.  As such I work closely with our network of diagnosticians to promote continued collaboration and training for diagnosticians.


Publications (most recent):


L. M. Rodriguez-Salamanca, T. B. Enzenbacher, J. M. Byrne, C. Feng, J. C. Correll, and M. K. Hausbeck.  First Report of Colletotrichum acutatum sensu lato Causing Leaf Curling and Petiole Anthracnose on Celery (Apium graveolens) in Michigan, Plant Disease 2012 96:9, 1383-1383.
G. Ruhl, E. Twieg, R. DeVries, L. Levy, J. Byrne, D. Mollov, and N. Taylor. First Report of Bacterial Wilt in Mandevilla (= Dipladenia) splendens ‘Red Riding Hood’ in the United States Caused by Ralstonia solanacearum Biovar 3 Plant Disease 2011 95:5, 614-614.

H. Y. Yun, A. Y. Rossman, and J. Byrne.  First Report of Gymnosporangium sabinae, European Pear Rust, on Bradford Pear in Michigan.  Plant Disease 2009 93:8, 841-841.

 J. Stack, K. Cardwell, R. Hammerschmidt, J. Byrne, R. Loria, K. Snover-Clift, W. Baldwin, G. Wisler, H. Beck, R. Bostock, C. Thomas, and E. Luke.  The National Plant Diagnostic Network.  Plant Disease 2006 90:2, 128-136 


 R. Finneran and J. Byrne, Giant hogweed makes a splash in the media, but is rarely found in Michigan.  MSUE News  May 30, 2013.  
J. Byrne and T. Dudek.  Tomato spotted wilt virus found in fall garden mums. MSUE News  August 27, 2013.   
Byrne.  Tubakia leaf spot appearing on oak trees.   MSUE News   August 23, 2012.
Byrne.  White Smut, begin scouting now for easily recognizable symptoms.  MSUE News  June 1, 2012.
Cregg, Byrne, and Himmelein.  Landscape trees and shrubs trying to make a comeback
 from late frost damage.  MSUE News  May 25, 2012.
O'Donnell and Byrne.  Managing Diplodia tip blight.  MSUE News  May 11, 2012.
Getter and Byrne.  Recognizing symptoms of bacterial blight of geranium.  MSUE News  April 17, 2012.
J. Byrne.  Prevent Oak Wilt. MSUE News  April 13 2012.
Dudek and Byrne.  Reacquaint yourself with the symptoms of Tobacco Mosaic Virus.  MSUE News  Jan 11, 2012.

Courses taught: 

PLP 105 Fundamentals of Applied Plant Pathology

Tags: diagnosticians, ingham, msu campus, msu extension

Authored Articles