Dennis C. Gross
Plant pathogenic bacteria and bacterial diseases of field and horticultural crops are the focus of studies in my laboratory. We are studying mechanisms of pathogenesis used by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae, a bacterium that infects a broad range of agronomically important plants. The bacterium produces two lipopeptide toxins, syringomycin and syringopeptin, which form pores in plasma membranes. The syringomycin (syr) and the syringopeptin (syp) gene clusters constitute a genomic island that encompasses almost 2% of the bacterial genome. Currently, we are focused on defining the genetic and functional organization of the toxin gene clusters. Other areas of interest include bacterial diversity and evolution, and the biology of Erwinia and related genera.
Carlos F. Gonzalez
Research in my laboratory encompasses a range of studies that address the genetics of virulence and pathogenicity. The model system used in our studies is Burkholderia cepacia. Burkholderia cepacia was first identified as a phytopathogen of onion. This plant pathogen is now recognized as a significant pathogen in nosocomial infections and in patients with cystic fibrosis. We are currently studying the genes from a type IV secretion system gene cluster that are responsible for export of a cytotoxic protein(s) and the transfer of plasmid DNA via conjugative mobilization. In addition we are conducting genomic analysis of B. cepacia bacteriophage.