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Bhabesh Dutta

Assistant Professor and Extension Vegetable Disease Specialist
  • Plant Pathology
Mailing Address:
Tifton, CAES Campus
Shipping Address:
Tifton, CAES Campus

Academic Background

Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of Georgia. - 2011
B.S. Agricultural Science, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India- 2006

Research Interests and Current Efforts

My extension program focuses on the management of the multitude of plant diseases that affect over 20 different vegetable crops produced in Georgia. My research efforts focus on Fusarium wilt of watermelon, (Fusarium oxysporumf. sp.niveum), gummy stem blight of watermelon (S. citrulli), bacterial spot of pepper (Xanthomonas euvesicatoria), black rot of cabbage (X. campestris pv. campestris), and a complex of bacterial diseases of onion.  Research efforts include monitoring strains for fungicide resistance and gaining a better understanding on the ecology of bacterial pathogens. This information will be used to develop novel management practices ranging from the use of nanotechnology-formulated pesticides to how best fertilize plants with micronutrients that up-regulate superoxide dismutases and other enzymes associated with the systemic acquired resistance pathway in plants

Vegetable Blog

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Johnson, W., Dutta, B., Sanders, F.H., and Luo, X. 2017. Interactions among cultivation, weeds and a bio-fungicide in organic Vidalia sweet onion. Horticulture Technology. 00:000-000 (in press).

Dutta, B., Anderson, F., Smith, S., and Gitaitis, R.D. 2017. Epiphytic survival of Pantoea ananatis on Richardia scabra in Georgia. Plant Disease. 00:000-000 (in press). 

Morris, K., Langston, D.B., Dutta, B., Davis, R.F., Timper, P., Noe, J.P., Dickson, D.W. 2016. Evidence for a disease complex between Pythium aphanidermatum and root-knot nematodes in cucumber. Plant Health Progress 17:200-201. (I,E,W,S = 20%)

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R., Barman, A., Avci, U., Marasigan, K., and Srinivasan, R. 2016. Interactions between Frankliniella fusca and Pantoea ananatis in the center rot epidemic of onion
(Allium cepa). Phytopathology 106:956-962. 

Dutta, B., Schneider, R.W., Robertson, C.L., and Walcott, R.R. 2016. Embryo localization enhances the survival of Acidovorax citrulli in watermelon seeds. Phytopathology 106:330-338.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R.D., Smith, S., Searcy, J.V.K., and Langston, D.B. 2016. Pathogen distribution, incubation period and seedling transmission resulting from secondary contamination of pepper seeds with Xanthomonas euvesicatoria. Seed Sci. Technol. 44:1-10.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R.D., Driver, J.E., and Smith, S. (2015). First report of bacterial leaf spot on watermelon caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae in Georgia. Plant Disease (First look).

Searcy, J.V.K., Smith, S., Gitaitis, R.D., and Dutta, B. (2015). First report of tomato pith necrosis caused by Pseudomonas mediterranea in Georgia. Plant Disease (First look).

Dutta, B., Ha, Y., Lessl, J.T., Avci, U., Sparks, A.C., Johnson, K.L., and Walcott, R.R. 2014. Pathways of bacterial invasion and watermelon seed infestation by Acidovorax citrulli. Plant Pathology (in press).

Dutta, B., Ingram, T., Gitaitis, R.D., Langston, D.B., Brenneman, T., Webster, T.M., and Davis, R.F. 2014. First report of bacterial blight of sugarbeet caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata in Georgia, USA. Plant Disease (First look)

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R.D., Smith, S., and Langston, D.B. 2014. Interactions of seedborne bacterial pathogens with host and non-host plants in relation to seed infestation and seedling transmission. PLOS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.009921.

Dutta, B., Barman, A. K., Srinivasan, R., Avci, U., Ullman, D.E., Langston, D.B., and Gitaitis, R.D. 2014. Transmission of Pantoea ananatis and Pantoea agglomerans causal agents of center rot of onion (Allium cepa L.) by onion thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman) through feces. Phytopathology 104:812-819.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R.D., Webster, T.M., Sanders, H., Smith, S., and Langston, D.B. 2014. Distribution and Survival of Pseudomonas sp. on Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and Curly dock (Rumex crispus), in Georgia. Plant Disease 98:660-666.

Dutta, B., Sanders, H., Langston, D.B., Booth, C., Smith, S., and Gitaitis, R.D. 2014. Long-term survival of Acidovorax citrulli in citron melon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) seeds. Plant Pathology 63:1130-1137.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R., Sanders, H., Booth, C., Smith, S., and Langston, D.B. 2014. Role of blossom colonization in pepper seed infestation by Xanthomonas euvesicatoria. Phytopathology 104:232-239.

Dutta, B., Block, C.C., Stevenson, K.L., Sanders, F.H., Walcott, R. R., and Gitaitis, R.D. 2013. Distribution of phytopathogenic bacteria in infested seeds. Seed Science and Technology 41:383-397.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis,R.D., Sanders, F.H., Booth, C., Smith, S., and Langston, D.B. 2013. First report of bacterial leaf spot of pumpkin caused by Xanthomonas cucurbitae, in Georgia, USA.Plant Disease 97:1375.

Parkunan, V., Gitaitis, R. D., Dutta, B., Langston, D. B., and Ji, P. An epidemic of downy mildew caused by Peronospora destructor on Vidalia sweet onions in Georgia in 2012. Online. Plant Health Progress Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2013-0328-01-BR.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis,R.D., Lewis, K.L., and Langston, D.B. 2013. A New Report ofXanthomonas cucurbitaeCausing Bacterial Leaf Spot of Watermelon in Georgia, USA.Plant Disease 97:4.

Dutta, B., Gitaitis, R.D., Lewis, K.L., Booth, C., Langston, D.B., Webster, T.M., Riner, C.M., and Edenfield, J.D. 2013. New Report of Lolium multiflorum L. and Rumex crispus L. as resident weed hosts of epiphytic populations of Psuedomonas sp., causal agent of yellow bud in onions in Georgia, U.S.A. New Disease Report 27:18.

Fulmer, A.M., Walls, J.T., Dutta, B., Parkunan, V., Brock, J and Kemerait, R.C. Jr. 2012. First Report of Target Spot Caused by Corynespora cassiicola on Cotton in Georgia. Plant Disease 96:1066.

Dutta, B., Scherm, H., Gitaitis, R.D., and Walcott, R.R. 2012. Acidovorax  citrulli seed inoculum load affects seedling transmission and spread of bacterial fruit blotch of watermelon under greenhouse conditions. Plant Disease 96:705-711.

Dutta, B., Avci, U., Hahn, M.G., and Walcott, R.R.  2012. Location of Acidovorax citrulli in infested watermelon seeds is influenced by the pathway of bacterial invasion.  Phytopathology 102:461-468.

Dutta, B., Vernaiz, M.A.C., Castro-Sparks, A.C., Scherm, H., and Walcott, R. R. 2012. Effect of Acidovorax citrulli location in watermelon seeds on detection by seed health testing. Seed Science and Technology 40-309-319.

Bahar, O., Efrat, M., Hadar, E., Dutta, B., Walcott, R.R., and Burdman, S. 2008.  New subspecies-specific rep-PCR based primers for detection of Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli.   Plant Pathology 57: 54–763.

Extension Publications

Dutta, B., R. Gitaitis, D. Langston, H. Sanders, P. Ji, and S. Smith. 2014.  Fertility factors in soil and tissue correlated with severity of bacterial leaf spot (BLS) of pepper, caused by Xanthomonas euvesicatoria. pp. 57-58 in:  Georgia Vegetable Research-Extension Report 2013/ UGA Cooperative Extension Annual Publication 113.

Dutta, B., D. Langston, H. Sanders, R. Torrance, R. Srinivasan, J. Edenfield, and R. Gitaitis.  2013.  Investigation of the epidemiology of yellow bud, a new disease of Vidalia onions. pp. 60-65 in:  Georgia Onion Research-Extension Report 2010-2011, 2011-2012 / UGA Cooperative Extension Annual Publication 109.

Dutta, B., A. Barman, R. Gitaitis, D. Langston, U. Avci, and R. Srinivasan.  2013.  Investigation of the Frankliniella fusca (tobacco thrips) – Pantoea ananatis relationship on the epidemiology of center rot of onions.  pp. 71-75 in:  Georgia Onion Research-Extension Report 2010-2011, 2011-2012 / UGA Cooperative Extension Annual Publication 109.

Popular Apps/Blogs
Bargeron, C.T., J.H. LaForest, J. Brock, D.B. Langston & R.L. David, B. Dutta. (2015). VegDr Android App. (Version2.0) [Mobile application software]. Available at