Lucita (Luci) Kumagai

Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, U.S.A.
Office: 916-738-6710
Fax: 916-262-1190

Lucita Kumagai

Senior Plant Pathologist

Curriculum Vitae


  • Master of Science; Biological Sciences; CSU Sacramento - June 1992, Concentration:  Microbiology/Molecular Biology, Plant Pathogenic Bacteriology. Thesis:  Characterization of the First Bacterial Pathogen of Alder and its Relationship to Xanthomonas campestris pathovar corylina.
  • Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences; CSU Sacramento - June 1986. Concentration:  Microbiology


  • 2012-present, Senior Plant Pathologist (Diagnostician), CDFA, PPDC, Sacramento, CA. Duties:  HuanglongBing (HLB) testing, plant pathogenic bacteriology.
  • 2011-2012, Associate Plant Pathologist (Diagnostician), CDFA, PPDC, Sacramento, CA. Duties:  HuanglongBing (HLB) testing, plant pathogenic bacteriology.
  • 2009-2010, Senior Agricultural Biological Technician, CDFA, PPDC, Sacramento, CA.  Duties: Evaluation of seed viability tests, recordkeeping, data processing.
  • 2007-2009, Seed Health Testing Specialist, Agri-Analysis, LLC, Davis, CA. Duties: Lead Bacteriologist. Duties: Seed testing for seed-borne bacterial pathogens. General plant bacterial disease diagnoses. Development of PCR assays for Agrobacterium and Xanthomonas spp. Acquisition and maintenance of USDA-APHIS and CDFA plant pest quarantine permits. 
  • 2000-2001, Consultant, Empire Farms Research Lab, Davis, CA.  Duties: Optimization of ELISA tests for the detection of virus in onion tissue culture plants.  Field survey of garlic and onion for viral and fungal disease.  Authored an Onion Disease Manual (in-house). 
  • 1997-2000, Associate Plant Pathologist, CDFA, PPDC, Sacramento, CA.  Duties: Lead scientist in the Fruit & Nut Tree and Grapevine ELISA testing program for CDFA Pest Exclusion/Nursery Services.  Lead scientist in Seed Health testing (Bacteriology) and the Karnal Bunt Project.  Standardization of the Black Rot assay for Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in collaboration with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).  Development of a Bio-PCR assay for Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola.  Development of immunocapture RT-PCR assay for grapevine Leafroll viruses with Foundation Plant Services, UC Davis.  Contributing author to the CDFA Seed Health Testing Manual (in-house).
  • 1987-1997, Agricultural Biological Technician, CDFA, PPDC, Sacramento, CA.  Duties: Technical support in the isolation and identification of bacterial, viral, and fungal plant pathogens from infected plant tissues, soil and seed using culture methods, immunoassays, dissecting/compound/electron microscopy, PCR, Western blotting, biochemical/enzymatic and pathogenicity tests for identification.  Maintenance of a culture collection consisting of mostly bacteria (over 500 strains).  Garlic and onion field survey for virus.  Characterization of garlic viruses using immuno-electron microscopy, Western blotting, and ELISA.
  • 1995, Part-time Faculty, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA. Duties: Taught Microbiology Laboratory, Bio 6, 4.0 units.
  • 1991, Part-time Faculty, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA. Duties:
  • Taught Core Biology Lecture & Laboratory, Bio 1, 5.0 units.
  • 1988-1989, Adjunct Professor, California State University, Sacramento, CA. Duties: Taught Adjunct Biology, 1.0 unit.
  • 1985, Summer Undergraduate Affirmative Action Research Program (SUAARP) Internship, Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA. Supervisor:  D.C. Hirsch, L. Hansen.  Duties: Conducted an epidemiological study of fowl cholera in California.  Conducted DNA and whole cell protein fingerprinting of Pasteurella multocida isolates obtained from various disease foci in California.
  • 1982, National Science Foundation internship, Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA.  Supervisor:  Drs. J. Theis & R. Acevedo. Duties: Surveyed the prevalence of heartworm disease caused by Dirofilariae immitis in the coyote and dog populations inhabiting the foothill areas of northern California.  Duties included field sampling, laboratory analysis of samples (canine hearts and jaws, mosquitoe traps), and mapping the enzootic foci of the disease vectors (Aedes and Anopheles).


  • 2014.  Bacterial Fruit Blotch caused by Acidovorax citrulli.  CDFA Nursery, Seed & Cotton Meeting.  February 2014.  Sacramento, CA.
  • 2011. Rane, K, D. Opgenorth, L. KumagaiIntroduction to Bacterial Diagnostics, Including Samples from the Field Part A and B.  NPDN Bacterial Diagnostics Workshop.  Dominican University, San Rafael, CA, Nov 6, 2011.  NPDN Third National Meeting, Berkeley, CA Nov 6-9, 2011.
  • 2008.  Detection and differentiation of pathogenic Agrobacterium vitis and Agrobacterium tumefaciens in grapevine using multiplex Bio-PCR.  Poster session: National Viticulture Research Conference, 2008. University of California, Davis, CA.
  • 1996.  Alfalfa seed testing for Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. insidiosus. Alfalfa Seed Workshop, April 1996.  Fresno State University, Fresno, CA.
  • 1994.  PCR assay for Grapevine Leafroll Associated virus type III (GLRaV III).  Fruit & Nut Tree Improvement Advisory Board meeting, November 1993.  Fresno, CA.
  • 1994.  Preliminary findings of the garlic field plot studies on the variation between garlic viruses and their distribution in California grown garlic using ELISA, Western blotting and immuno-electron microscopy.  Onion, Fungi and Soil Conference, April 1994.  Reno, NV.
  • 1993.  Immuno-electron microscopy for the detection of garlic viruses.  Garlic Field Day, August 1993. Reno, NV.


  1. Hornbaker, V. and L. Kumagai. 2016. HLB Detections in San Gabriel, Where are We Now? Citrograph Winter 2016, 7(1): 24-27.
  2. Yan, Z., J. Rascoe, L. Kumagai, M. L. Keremane, M. K. Nakhla 2016. Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) Discoveries in California in 2015 and 2012 are Different Genotypes of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (cLas) by Double-locus Genomic Variation Analysis. Plant Disease 100(3): 645. Link
  3. Wu, F., L. Kumagai, G. Liang, X. Deng, Z. Zheng, M. Keremane, and J. Chen 2015. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" from a Citrus Tree in San Gabriel, California.  Genome Announc 3(6):e01508-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.01508-15.
  4. Kumagai, L.B., P. Woods, R. Walcott, X. Moua. 2014. First Report of Bacterial Fruit Blotch on Melon Caused by Acidovorax citrulli in California 2014.  Plant Disease 98(10): 1423.3. Link
  5. Kumagai, L.B., C.S. LeVesque, C.L. Blomquist, K. Madishetty, Y. Guo, P.W. Woods, and S. Rooney-Latham, J. Rascoe, T. Gallindo, D. Schnabel, and M. Polek.  First Report of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus Associated with Citrus Huanglongbing in California 2013. Plant Disease 97(2): 283.1.
  6. LeVesque, C.S., L. Kumagai, M. Keremane, J. Morgan, D.G. Hall and M.L. Polek. 2013.  Detection of Liberibacter asiaticus in a single infected Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) adult or nymph:  impact of dilution with clean Asian citrus psyllids during extraction.  3rd International Research Conference on Huanglongbing – IRCHLB III, Feb 4-8, 2013, Orlando, FL.
  7. Kumagai, L. and A. Fabritius 2008.  Detection and differentiation of pathogenic Agrobacterium vitis and Agrobacterium tumefaciens in grapevine using multiplex Bio-PCR.  In: Proceedings of National Viticulture Research Conference 2008. Davis, California.
  8. A. Fabritius, L. Dubrovsky, L. Kumagai, M. Trinh, A. Turnquist, Y. Zong 2008.  Use of protein arrays for rapid and sensitive diagnostics of grapevine diseases.  In: APS Abstract of Presentation, APS Centennial Meeting.
  9. Maningas, M., L. Kumagai et al. 1994.  Use of immunocapture-polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of Grapevine Leafroll Virus disease in grapevine field sample.  American Society for Enology and Viticulture 1994 Technical Abstracts.
  10. Basarich. L. 1992.  Characterization of the first bacterial disease of Alnus and its relationship to Xanthomonas campestris pathovar corylina. Thesis. CSU Sacramento.
  11. Bishop, A.L. and L. Basarich 1989.  Leaf blight of Alnus rhombifolia and A. cordata caused by Xanthomonas campestris. Plant Disease 73(7):610.
  12. Bishop, A.L. and L. Basarich 1989.  Leaf spot and stem canker of Ginkgo biloba caused by Pseudomonas syringae. Plant Disease 73(4):368.


  • 2013. State of California Department of Food and Agriculture Superior Accomplishment Award in recognition of the development, validation, and implementation of a high-throughput method for HLB testing
  • 1982. Recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) internship at the UC Davis Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine


  • CDFA Executive Leadership Program - Sacramento, CA January - June 2015
  • USDA Workshop on Huanglongbing (HLB) – Beltsville, MD March 2011
  • USDA Workshop on Bioinformatics  – Beltsville, MD March 2013
  • Successfully passed the USDA-CPHST HLB proficiency panels – 2011–2015


  • American Phytopathological Society (APS) Member