Ann Impullitti

Associate Professor

Science Hall 220
CB 37

Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher, I want my students to learn to analyze and synthesize information, and be eager to continue to learn outside of the classroom. More specifically, as a plant biology teacher, I want my students to understand the fundamental importance of plants in their food, clothes, function in diverse ecosystems, and their potential as biofuels and bio-based plastics. I strive to create a learning environment where students are actively engaged in the lecture hall, classroom and research laboratory, and community. My role during lecture is to transfer my knowledge of plant biology to students yet promote critical analysis and thought of the material. My labs are designed to compliment the lecture material while nurturing students natural curiosity and promoting inquiry. I am also an advocate for students to participate in undergraduate research opportunities (URGO), as these experiences can provide knowledge and skills that are difficult to teach in the classroom.

Research Interests

Plants colonized by beneficial, pathogenic, and endophytic fungi are ideal systems to study basic biological and ecological principles. I apply culture-independent and dependent techniques to identify, detect, and quantify fungi in plants, and also study the productivity, anatomy, and physiology of plants infected by fungi. My main interest is investigating the interaction of endophytes with pathogens and the function of endophytes in agro-ecosystems. Endophytes may be useful for: improving biomass production and growth of prairie plants used for biofuels, enhancing plant productivity in agronomic systems without chemical amendments, and improving phytoremediation. Utilization of endophytic fungi is dependent on our understanding of these interactions and our ability to potentially manage the endophytic populations in the plant.

Plant microbiology research can readily incorporate students with broad interests in plants, molecular biology, field biology, ecology, and microbiology. Undergraduate students will be integral, contributing members of my research program. In the lab, undergraduate students could begin by learning traditional techniques to isolate and work with fungi and then progress to DNA extractions, PCR, and sequencing. Students will explore their own hypotheses and benefit by improving their critical thinking skills and participating in scientific discovery. The students will gain valuable experience for their future careers, or be equipped to enter into graduate school. Students could also present portions of these projects at undergraduate symposia.


  • B.S. Northern Michigan University
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota


Peer Reviewed

Impullitti, A.E., Malvick, D.K., and Grau, C.R. 2009. Characterizing reaction of soybean accessions to Phialophora gregata using pathogen population density and DNA quantity in stems. Plant Disease 93:734-740.

Malvick, D.K. and Impullitti, A.E. 2007. Detection and quantification of Phialophora gregata in soybean and soil samples using a quantitative real-time PCR assay. Plant Disease 91:736-742.

Impullitti, A. E. and Grau, C. R. 2006. Population dynamics of Phialophora gregata in stem residue of a resistant and susceptible soybean cultivar. Plant Disease 90: 759-764.


ImpullittiA.E. and Malvick D.K. 2009. Fungal endophyte diversity in soybean stems. Posterpresented at the 6th Annual International Society of Symbiosis Congress.

Malvick, D., Impullitti, A.and Floyd, C. 2009. Yield and growth of soybean infected with genotypes A and B of Phialophora gregata. Phytopathology 99:S (Poster at the National American Phytopathological Society (APS) meeting).

Impullitti, A.E. and Malvick, D.K. 2008. Microscopic characterization of the pathogenic phase ofPhialophora gregata in soybean stems. Phytopathology 98:S71. (Oral presentation at APS meeting)

Impullitti, A.E. and Malvick, D.K. 2007. Effect of latent infection by Phialophora gregata on physiology and growth of soybean. Phytopathology 97:S. (Poster at the North Central American Phytopathological Society (NC-APS) meeting)

Impullitti, A. E. and Malvick, D.K. 2006. Evaluation of PCR to study colonization of legumes byPhialophora gregata Phytopathology 96:S. (Oral presentation at the NC-APS meeting)

Impullitti, A. E. and Malvick, D. K. 2006. Detection of the soybean pathogens Phialophora gregataand Fusarium solani f. sp. glycines in soil using PCR. Phytopathology 96:S52. (Poster at the APS meeting)

Malvick, D. K., Grunden, E., and Impullitti, A. E. 2005. Interactions between Phialophora gregata, the brown stem rot pathogen, and soybean germplasms as determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Phytopathology 95:S64. (Poster at the APS meeting)

Kinziger (Impullitti), A. E., and Grau, C. R. 2002. Co-inoculation of subpopulations A and B ofPhialophora gregata does not modify symptom expression of soybean. Phytopathology 92:S42. (Poster at the NC-APS meeting)

Kurtzweil, N. C., Kinziger, A. E. (Impullitti, A.E.), and Grau, C. R. 2002. Effect of soil pH on symptom development and pathogen reproduction of Phialophora gregata in soybean. Phytopathology 92:S43. (Poster at the NC-APS meeting)