My Research Portfolio

Written by Lindsey Becker

Mapping microbial taxa and host disease severity

The genetic bases of how Barley’s genetic variation impacts the leaf mycobiome in the context of disease remain largely unknown. Here, we are using a mapping population of Barley Scald resistant and susceptible genotypes and applying metabarcoding strategies to identify interactions between host and fungal taxa that may influence disease outcomes.

Wheat seed mycobiome

While much work has been done to examine the microbes associated with roots and leaves, less is known about seed associated microbes and their functional roles. As a flowering plant undergoes reproduction, pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi attempt to colonize the developing seed niche in waves of introductions from other plant organs and the surrounding environment. My PhD research focus on revealing the impact that drought, geography, and genotype have in the wheat seed mycobiome.

Increased flower production!

In this project, I had the opportunity to work with a plant-fungal system and answer questions as to how soil fungi can influence host plant reproduction. This research provides the basis for our interest in Mortierella elongata association and benefits to plants.

Calibrachoa and Black Rot

Susceptibility of Calibrachoa cultivars to Thielaviopsis basicola, causal agent of black root rot disease. Here I screened seven elite Calibrachoa cultivars for their response to T. basicola inoculations in greenhouse.