Host-Pathogen Interactions

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.

Daniel J. Ebbole
My research involves how development and pathogenesis share the common features of responding to environmental conditions to execute a program of gene expression resulting in new cell types.

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.

Mike Kolomiets
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
Differential responses of susceptible and resistant cultivars of sorghum and cotton to invasion by fungal pathogens continue to be a focus of research in my laboratory.

T. Erik Mirkov
Using plant viruses that infect a broad range of monocots, we are studying the function of their encoded suppression of RNA silencing, the host proteins that they interact with, and the function of these host proteins.

Libo Shan
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.

Brian D. Shaw
My Interests include the study of the developmental biology of fungi. Currently I am working with a group of Aspergillus nidulans mutants that are aberrant in spore germination and polarized growth.

Won-Bo Shim
Dr. Shim’s research program at Texas A&M University is focused on studying the biology of fungal pathogens of corn and sorghum, particularly that of Fusarium verticillioides, Fusarium graminearum and Cercospora zeae-maydis.

Joshua Yuan
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.

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