The Fight Against Boxwood Blight

Jan 22 2018 - 3:10pm

Boxwood blight or “box blight” is a serious fungal disease of boxwood that results in defoliation and decline of susceptible boxwood. Michigan is currently free of this disease and preventing introduction of diseased material remains our best means of control. Dr. Monique Sakalidis (MSU Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences and Forestry) will provide a current overview of the status of Boxwood Blight research in the US and provide information to ensure growers can recognize the disease and what to do if they encounter the disease.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize Boxwood Blight
  • Be familiar with the hosts and life cycle of the pathogen
  • Procedures for prevention and containment of the disease
Session Track: 


Michigan State University

Dr. Monique L. Sakalidis is an Assistant Professor of Forest Pathology in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and the Department of Forestry at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the use of genomic tools in conjunction with traditional pathology tools to mitigate and respond to forest tree diseases (detection, identification, pathogenicity and population analysis). She is particularly interested in emerging endemic and exotic invasive pathogens. Dr. Sakalidis received her PhD in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia at Murdoch University where she worked on pathogens that affected eucalyptus, baobab and mango trees. During this period, she also spent time conducting research at the Forestry and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She was a post-doctoral fellow at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada where she worked on Septoria canker and leafspot disease of poplar. The Sakalidis lab ( is currently focusing on oak wilt, white pine, spruce decline and other conifer diseases, but is always on the lookout for new problematic tree diseases in forested and urban settings.