Gary Strobel

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Dr. Gary A. Strobel (born September 23, 1938)[1] is an American microbiologist and naturalist who was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio. He was co-contributor to the discovery that somaclonal variation occurs in plants and can be used for plant improvement. The discovery of the Ri plasmid in Agrobacterium rhizogenes also originated in his laboratory. His son, Scott Strobel, is a professor at Yale University.

More recently, he has begun to examine endophytic fungi and bacteria for their novel bioactive compounds and their unique biology. Forbes magazine called him the "Indiana Jones of fungus hunters" for his expeditions, collections, and research into fungi.[2]

Career in education[edit]

Strobel completed a B.S. degree at Colorado State University in 1960, and a PhD at the University of California, Davis in 1963. He has been on the faculty of Montana State University - Bozeman since 1970, earning the title of professor emeritus of plant pathology on September 30, 2005.[3] His research and academic interests have centered on microbe – higher plant relationships.

Strobel has lectured at over 350 institutes and universities worldwide and published over 350 articles in scientific journals and holds nearly 50 USA and International patents. He has received numerous awards including an NIH Career Development award, the Wiley award, special recognition from the Royal Nepal Chemical Society and the MSU –VP award for Technology and Science. Recently, he was elected to membership in the American Society for Microbiology. Mr. Strobel is a member of The Explorers Club.[4] From 1979-2000 he was chief of the Montana NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program[5][6][7] which encourages and promotes science at all levels of society.


His work on the modification of tree microflora to preclude plant disease received major national attention in his efforts to biologically control Dutch elm disease.[8]


Strobel has embarked on collection trips and research into the use of endophytes for various applications.[2] He has licensed more than 20 specimens to pharmaceutical and chemical companies, and his discoveries have included a specimen that grows on the Yew tree that produces taxol, one that produces a fumigant, and another that produces volatile gases (hydrocarbons).[2] The amount of gas produced relative to the food inputs is much lower for the endophyte than other biodiesel production methods, but research into bioengineering the biodiesel production traits into fast reproducing yeast is ongoing.[2]

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b c d Christopher Helman The Indiana Jones of Fungus Hunters; Bio-prospector Gary Strobel's latest find: a fungus from Patagonia that produces diesel May 25, 2009 page 36, 38 Forbes
  3. ^ "ITEM 128-2001-R0905". September 23, 2005.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "Publications". The Explorers Club. 2002. Archived from the original on March 11, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  5. ^ Strobel, Gary (May 31, 1996). "Lessons from the EPSCoR States" (PDF). Science. 272 (5266): 1245–0. doi:10.1126/science.272.5266.1245. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  6. ^ "UM & MSU Minutes" (PDF). Montana NSF EPSCoR: 7. December 3, 2004. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Montana EPSCoR Staff". Montana State University. Archived from the original on September 13, 2006. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  8. ^ Schneider, Keith (January 13, 1988). "One Agency Clears Scientist Of Breaking Genetics Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  9. ^ Stone, Richard (May 31, 2002). "Gary Strobel profile: Biologist Gets Under the Skin of Plants--And Peers". Science. 296 (5573): 1597–99. doi:10.1126/science.296.5573.1597. PMID 12040161. Retrieved March 12, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Author Query for 'Strobel'". International Plant Names Index. 

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