Host-Microbe Interactions

The interactions between bacteria and their host plants are highly complex. Bacteria, whether beneficial or pathogenic, can be recognized by plants and elicit a defense response. Bacteria, in turn, must employ mechanisms to dampen the defense response. For many Gram-negative, plant-associated bacteria, collections of proteins called type III effectors are deployed directly into host cells via a type III secretion system, to interfere with plant defenses. My research uses molecular, genetic, genomic, and computational methods to study both symbiont and plant host.