- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Riverside and University of California, Davis
- PhD, University of California, Riverside
Genomics, Functional Genomics and Host-Microbe Interactions
Application of functional genomic tools to investigate microbial gene expression in different environments. With the availability of complete genome sequences of different microorganisms, functional genomic tools provide a powerful approach for identifying microbial genes that are expressed during association of bacteria with their hosts in response to various environmental factors. Dickeya dadantii is a common colonist of aerial plant surfaces and causes soft-rot, wilt, and blight diseases on a wide range of plant species. Techniques we are using include a custom designed microarray, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and bioinformatic tools to explore genes of D. dadantii that are involved in type III secretion regulon and pathogenesis.
Development of novel antimicrobials. The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a highly specialized protein secretion system that is essential to the virulence of many plant, animal, and human pathogens. The T3SS is an attractive target for development of antimicrobial compounds, since it is present mainly in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria and is often required for virulence by these species. The aim of this study is to develop novel, potent, selective inhibitors of the T3SS and study the regulatory effect of these inhibitors on key T3SS targets.
Novel approaches to study microbial ecology using microbial diversity profiling. The quantitative description of microbial communities is one of the most promising areas of research in microbial ecology. New techniques in molecular ecology have now opened the door for revolutionary advances in our understanding of microbial communities in nature, and identification of new microorganisms and microbial products that can be harnessed for biotechnology. We have been especially interested in developing novel approaches to analyze microbial diversity that are associated with plants. Our most recent work focuses on interactions between plants and microorganisms using 16S and 18S rDNA profiling.