I contribute to peanut variety improvement by screening breeding lines in southwest Texas field plots for their reactions to spotted wilt (Tomato spotted wilt virus), peanut rust (Puccinia arachidis), southern blight (Sclerotium rolfsii), and leafspot diseases (Cercospora arachidicola, Cercosporidium personatum). In a related project, I am exploring mechanisms of partial resistance/tolerance to TSWV in peanut.
Martin B. Dickman
My research program centers on fundamental aspects of fungal plant interactions and the identification of genes that regulate pathogenic development, signal communication and programmed cell death (PCD). The overall goals of these studies are to understand the underlying mechanisms that regulate plant death and implement novel strategies for disease resistance and/or plant stress tolerance.
The long-term goal of my research program is to identify defense-related significance of maize oxylipin biosynthetic and signal transduction pathways by using functional genomics approaches. Currently, the focus is on the identification of function of individual lipoxygenase and oxo-phytodienoic acid reductases in resistance to mycotoxins, aflatoxins and fumonisins, produced by Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticillioides respectively.
Clint W. Magill
In addition to developing tags for single genes conferring resistance to several diseases and mapping resistance gene analogs in sorghum, we have used DNA technology to identify QTLs for downy mildew resistance in maize.
T. Erik Mirkov
We have an active program on the map-based cloning of the Citrus tristeza virus resistance gene (Ctv) from a citrus relative.We are using transgenic-based approaches to develop resistance to Sorghum mosaic virus, Sugarcane mosaic virus, Sugarcane yellow leaf virus and Citrus tristeza virus.
My research interest is to understand the genetic, molecular and biochemical mechanisms of the dynamic host-microbe interactions using Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas as a model plant-pathogen system. My ultimate goal is to understand how the host-microbe interactions shape the evolution of microbial pathogenicity and plant immunity in both model and economically important plants.
James L. Starr
I am involved in the identification, characterization, and deployment of genes for resistance to root-knot nematodes, primarily in cotton and peanut. I am also developing marker-assisted selection systems for use in plant breeding programs.
We aim to use integrated and multidisciplinary approaches to address important issues in bioenergy and plant biology. We are employing the latest systems and computational biology platforms to carry out four aspects of research that work together to address the key challenges in second and third generation biofuels, as well as crop growth and safety.