Main Research Areas
1) Utilizing novel diagnostic methods to detect plant pathogens
The Plant Pathology Laboratory is interested in a variety of diagnostic techniques for various plant pathogens including quantitative PCR, and isothermal techniques (e.g. recombinase polymerase amplificiation). Currently in the laboratory, we are researching novel diagnostic tools to detect Phytophthora species as well as the feasibility of adapting this technology to the field.
2) Investigating fungicide resistance in various fungi and oomycetes
We are also interested in the molecular diagnostics of fungicide resistance, from the identification of novel fungicide resistant alleles to quantifying the amount of these alleles in a large population of isolates. In this area we are currently developing novel diagnostic tools and are collaborating with other researchers to implement the techniques.
3) Mitochondrial genomics of various economically important plant pathogens
The laboratory is actively involved in collecting mitochondrial genomic data from a variety of fungal organisms with the hopes of exploiting these for diagnostic purposes. Furthermore, we would like to understand some basic questions about mitochondrial genomics such as how do mitochondria evolve over time and what environmental cues cause this evolution.
4) Plant pathogen disease complexes in fruit pathosystems
Members of the laboratory have previously worked on host resistance in blueberry pathosystems, fruits can be affected by a number of different postharvest pathogens and there is a complex interplay in these interactions. To that end, the laboratory is extremely interested in understanding the microbial ecology of fruit surfaces and how these surfaces change from various environmental stimuli.