WVU Extension Specialist—
Director, Plant Diagnostic Center
Mahfuz Rahman, a lifelong supporter and practitioner of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), joined WVU to promote environmentally friendly, pest management techniques to the producers and communities in West Virginia, that is, those who are actively seeking improved pest management advice to minimize crop losses due to pests.
As a plant pathologist and Extension specialist at West Virginia University, Dr. Rahman assists West Virginia communities by performing pest diagnostics at the WVU Plant Diagnostic Clinic (PDC) and sending recommendations to clientele for effective pest management. Early diagnosis of pest problems remains at the cornerstone of his adaptive and applied research program at WVU that seeks to address disease problems primarily in vegetables and fruits.
His research is driven by the urgency of solving growers’ problems within a real-world agricultural production framework by asking strategic questions that advance the science of plant pathology to benefit growers. He takes an integrated approach that includes cutting-edge research on pathogen detection and quantification, proactive measures to avoid the introduction of harmful pathogens with planting material, and adoption of measures based on the disease forecast model. One method that ensures rapid, early, and sensitive diagnosis is the use of molecular detection techniques, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR, and is used widely in Dr. Rahman’s program.
Rahman’s Extension philosophy and approach is to train county agents, Master Gardeners, and progressive growers on disease diagnosis and management of the major economically important diseases so that commodity groups will be able to better handle their problems.
Learn more about WVU Extension Service’s active agricultural role across the state by visiting www.anr.ext.wvu.edu.