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Larry W. Moore Student Travel Grant

Colleagues and friends established this fund​ in honor and memory of Dr. Larry Wallace Moore (1937-2000). The following obituary, written by Joyce Loper, appeared in Phytopathology News Vol. 35, No. 1, 2001, p. 6. 

Larry Moore
Larry Wallace Moore died on August 9, 2000, in an automobile accident near Gooding, ID. He is survived by his wife, Marjean; sons Michael, Jeffrey, and Brian; daughters Christie and Suzanne; mother, Florence; sister LeAnn; and 11 grandchildren.

Moore was born in Menan, ID, on August 24, 1937, and was raised on a farm near Grant, ID. In 1961, he married Marjean Davenport. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Idaho in 1962, his master’s degree from the same institution in 1964, and his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1969, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University (OSU). He advanced to full professor and retired from the department in 1999.

Moore was an internationally recognized authority on phytobacteriology. His research was instrumental in the widespread adoption of the biocontrol agent Agrobacterium radiobacter K84 by growers for suppression of crown gall of stone fruits, a system heralded as a premier success story in the biological control of plant disease. He conducted research to mesh the biological control agent with standard nursery practices and enlisted the cooperation of numerous growers to perform large-scale field trials in commercial nurseries. The procedures developed through this research are now standard practice in stone fruit nurseries and were essential to the commercial success of this biological control agent. Moore founded and served as president of BioProducts Inc., which produces and distributes A. radiobacter K84 for use in commercial agriculture.

For 30 years, Moore served as a primary resource on disease problems for the ornamental and nursery industry in the Pacific Northwestern United States. His success in transferring his research findings from experimental to commercial systems can be attributed in large part to his effective interactions with the grower community and his responsiveness to disease problems that limit horticultural production. Consequently, Moore was recognized early in his career for his contributions to the horticultural industry with the Oregon Association of Nurserymen’s Research Achievement Award.

At OSU, Moore played an active role in educating students through a graduate-level course in bacterial diseases of plants. He served as major professor to numerous M.S. and Ph.D. students, and many of these individuals have since enjoyed successful careers as plant pathologists in academia or industry. He also served as a mentor to post-doctoral research fellows and as a host to numerous international scientists who visited his laboratory over the years.

Moore made major contributions through service to the profession of plant pathology. For 20 years, he devoted 20 percent of his time to the plant sciences program of the USDA, Cooperative State Research Service, where he oversaw national programs in plant pathology. He served as a member or chair of numerous national panels and committees for USDA-CSRS, the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), and other groups. In the early 1980s, he provided vision and a constructive voice in early discussions focused on the responsible use of biotechnology in agriculture. He was an active member of a regional project on the detection and control of plant pathogenic bacteria (NC135/NCR169) for almost 20 years and on a regional project on genetic engineering to improve plant health (W172) for more than 10 years. In 1992, he founded the Microbial Germplasm Database Project, which provides detailed information on approximately 400,000 plant-associated microorganisms maintained in culture collections housed in 450 university, government, and industrial laboratories located around the world. He served as a special editor (1981–1983) and as a member of the editorial advisory board (1988–1991) of Plant Disease. He served on several committees of APS, including Bacteriology (1974–1977), Biological Control (1982–1986; chair, 1986), Collections and Germplasm (1988–1991), Archives and History Awareness (1993–2000), Electronic Technology Ad Hoc Committee (1993–1994; chair, 1994), and a Subcommittee on Regulations for Biotechnology (1988). Moore also served as secretary-treasurer, president-elect, and president of the APS Pacific Division.

Moore was a valued colleague who had an engaging sense of humor, took delight in discussing ideas, and exuded enthusiasm for scientific inquiry. He served as an encouraging and supportive mentor to many younger colleagues. A religious man, his integrity, honesty, and kindness were widely respected. In a eulogy to Larry, his daughter described him as a gardener by avocation and vocation, a person who “tended plants and tended people.” He will be greatly missed.