|Department of Plant Biology and Pathology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
59 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
Alternative forms of plant disease control are needed before the use of pesticides is lost. One alternative to pesticides is biological control using microorganisms that are antagonistic to plant pathogens. In my laboratory, research focuses on characterizing bacteria as potential biocontrol agents. We are involved with both applied and basic studies that are directed at understanding the ecological behavior of biocontrol agents and the mechanisms by which they control disease.
Applied research include greenhouse and field studies directed at the control of cranberry fruit rot, and the control of turfgrass root diseases. Basic research studies involve molecular approaches that investigate the expression and regulation of genes, in biocontrol bacteria, that encode extracellular degradative enzymes and antibiotic production in bacteria. Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms of biocontrol and the behavior of the biocontrol agents in the field will lead to their development as effective disease control alternatives to chemicals