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Gallegly, Mannon

Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology

Born in Mineral Springs, Arkansas, April 11, 1923, Mannon Elihu Gallegly, Jr. spent 71 years with West Virginia University as professor and emeritus professor of plant pathology after graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. He was Director of the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences from 1970-1986. He taught Elementary Plant Pathology, Principles of Plant Pathology, Diseases of Vegetable Crops and Methods of Research in Plant Pathology. His research focused on Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen causing late blight of tomato and potato, also known as causing the Irish Famine in the 1840’s. He supervised 26 Master’s and Ph.D. students. He has published 44 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals, over 25 abstracts of oral papers, 13 articles in WVU bulletins, 5 book chapters and one book. He taught three workshops on identifying species of Phytophthora and he has lectured in several international symposia on Phytophthora. Highlights of research accomplishments are (1) the discovery of resistance to late blight in wild tomatoes and breeding this resistance into the tomato variety WV ’63 in honor of the 100th birthday of West Virginia, (2) the development of potato breeding lines with resistance to late blight deposited in the USDA’s National Potato Breeding Program, (3) the discovery of pathogenic race specialization in P. infestans, (4) the discovery of the sexual stage of P. infestans 100 years after the species was named, (5) The discovery of compatibility types in the pathogen, (6) establishment of sexual patterns in the genus Phytophthora, since retirement, (7) the development of a new dichotomous key for identifying species of Phytophthora and (8) the development and release of two tomato varieties resistant to late blight and several other diseases along with tolerance to Septoria leaf spot and named Mountaineer Pride (WV ‘17A) and Mountaineer Delight (WV ‘17B). As a member of Pres. Miller’s University Planning Committee in 1962-63, he co-chaired a committee to formalize the Graduate Institute of Biological Sciences. He was a member of 7 other college committees. He was a member of 6 professional societies and 4 honorary societies. Personal honors he has received are (1) AAAS-Campbell Soup Award for vegetable research, (2) Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, (3) West Virginia Agriculture Hall of Fame, (4) Public Service Award by the Monongahela Conservation District, (5) Most Loyal Faculty, Mountaineer Weekend 2017 and (6) this Order of Vandalia in 2018. Other activities include 6 different committees of the American Phytopathological Society, speaker at a symposium dedicating Tucker Hall at the U. of Missouri, short-term staff member at Makerere University College, in Kampala, Uganda, member of Northeastern Vegetable Research Program Steering Committee, attended a conference at CIMMYT in Mexico on research needs of the International Potato Center and wrote several sections in the report, served as Chairman of agriculture faculty to develop a plan to integrate the operations of West Virginia’s 13 institutional farms, committee member to review the Northeaster Plant Introduction Station in Geneva, NY and review of the Plant Disease Laboratory at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.