Host-Microbe Interactions

Welcome to our webpage! Our research program uses molecular, genetic, genomic, cell biology, and computational methods to study the interactions between plants and their symbionts. We focus primarily on plant pathogenic bacteria and the molecular dialog that is exchanged with its warring partners. Follow the "research" tab for brief comments on what we study. Links to publications are provided. We are also highly collaborative and our research includes topics such as microbial signaling, mRNA processing, and the study of other types of plant-pathogenic organisms.

Please welcome Tal Pupko

Tal Pupko is a sabbatical professor in the lab. He is currently infusing our research program with his knowledge in machine learning and phylogenetics. It is great to have him and his expertise here! We hope that he and his family will not dread the dark rainy winters of Oregon.

New Paper!

Jeff Chang was invited to write a preview for a paper that is now published in Cell Host & Microbe (Volume 20; issue 4; 2016). He collaborated with Javier Tabima, a PhD student in the department, to design the figure. It was a fun, creative, and exciting exercise. Take a look at what we produced (another link good until 12/1/16)! For more on how this preview came about, click the following link.

New Paper!

This paper describes a collaborative effort to characterize the plant cytoskeleton and its potential as a target of type III effector proteins. We collaborated with our colleagues at Michigan State University (B. Day and S. Y. He's labs) and Purdue University (C. Staiger's lab).

Congratulations to Ed Davis II!

Ed Davis II was awarded the Larry Moore Award for Graduate Education in Plant Pathology, awarded by BPP. Ed received support to attend the 37th Annual Crown Gall Conference.

Dr. Larry Moore was a faculty member of BPP and a pioneer in the field of Agrobacterium ecology. It is fitting that Ed, who is studying the evolutionary-ecology of Agrobacterium was given this award to attend the Crown Gall conference.
Congratulations Ed and Thank You BPP!

Congratulations to Michael Belcher

Michael received an Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) award for Fall and Winter quarters of the upcoming academic year. Congratulations!

Two new papers!

We are pleased to announce the publication of two manuscripts. The two describe on-line tools and databases, as well as downloadable tools for analyzing genetic information to help determine the genetic identity of plant-associated microbes. The two manuscripts are available as preprints from PeerJ. The first was led by Nik Grunwald's group. The second was completed in collaboration with Nik Grunwald's group.

Congratulations to Ed Davis II!

Ed Davis II received an Anita Summers travel award from the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology to attend the 2016 IS-MPMI XVII Congress. Congratulations Ed and Thank you BPP!

New Paper!

Congratulations to Dr. Qing Yan, who is co-advised by Jeff Chang and Dr. Joyce Loper (USDA-ARS), on his recent publication! In this paper, Qing reports on the enrichment of rare codons in pltR, a transcriptional regulator of pyoluteorin biosynthesis genes. He further showed that a substitution mutant (he changed 23 codons) with "optimized" codons and a strain that overexpressed the cognate tRNA for the rare AGA codon, had increased levels of pyoluteorin.

Congratulations to Dr. Savory

Dr. Savory was selected to present her work at the 2016 IS-MPMI XVII Congress in Portland, OR this year. Her work was independently supported through a USDA-NIFA fellowship.