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Activities

Research

Each student worked with a faculty mentor on an independent project relevant to a specific host-microbe study system. Depending on the properties and questions concerning their focal systems, students learned and used tools of molecular biology, bioinformatics, evolution, ecology, population genetics, or applied systems management. Participation in weekly research group meetings immersed students in research conducted by their host laboratories.

Synthesis

Individual student projects were integrated into the unifying conceptual framework through a series of seminars presented by PPPMB faculty mentors. To foster analytical and synthetic skills of student participants, the program also involved a series of student group activities (Microbial Friends & Foes Synthesis Panels) in which students, with the help of their mentors, identified patterns shared by their own study systems and systems explored by other participants. The program culminates with the Microbial Friends & Foes Symposium at which students share their findings with the PPPMB and Microbiology research community. As a consequence, in addition to their own projects, each student was exposed to a broad range of interspecific interactions discussed at different levels of biological organization and integrated into a common conceptual framework.

Professional Development

Workshops in electronic database literacy, science citation software, research ethics, science communication, planning for graduate study, which includes attention to personal statements and resumes as well as GRE preparation, were available to the Microbial Friends & Foes program participants. These workshops were offered through the Summer Institute for Life Sciences coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Biology.

Microbial Friends & Foes Publications

Vargas-Asencio, J., K. Wojciechowska, M. Baskerville*, A. L. Gomez, K. L. Perry, and J. R. Thompson. 2017. The complete nucleotide sequence and genomic characterization of Grapevine asteroid mosaic associated virus. Virus Research 227:82-87.

Faculty mentors

Adam Bogdanove

Esther Angert

Associate Professor

Microbial ecology, microbial cellular biology, evolution of a novel bacterial developmental system and microbial phylogeny.
Gary Bergstrom

Gary Bergstrom

Professor

Biology, epidemiology, and integrated management of diseases of wheat, corn, soybean, forage legumes, and biofuel feedstock crops.
Adam Bogdanove

Adam Bogdanove

Professor

Mechanisms of bacterial plant pathogenesis and plant defense with a focus on tissue specificity in bacterial blight and bacterial leaf streak of rice, caused by the pathovars of Xanthomonas oryzae; transcription activator-like (TAL) effector proteins in plant-bacterial interactions and DNA targeting technologies such as genome editing and custom gene regulation
Alan Collmer

Professor

Molecular phytobacteriology and microbial genomics
Melanie Filiatrault

Melanie J. Filiatrault

Courtesy Assistant Professor

The role of small non-coding RNAs and RNA binding proteins in the biology of bacterial plant pathogens; the development of new approaches to perform global transcriptome profiling
Bill Fry

William Fry

Professor

Biology of oomycetes and management of disease they cause (with emphasis on Phytophthora infestans)
Fry Lab: Biology of Phytophthora infestans and Management of Late Blight
Stewart Gray

Stewart Gray

Professor, Courtesy

The biology of plant virus - insect vector interactions, virus diseases of potato and grain crops, virus disease management and epidemiology.
Anthony Hay

Anthony Hay

Associate Professor

Environmental microbiology; metabolism of man-made pollutants, with specific applications to environmental toxicology.
John Helmann

John Helmann

Professor

Microbial physiology with a focus on Bacillus subtilis. We study physiological and genetic responses elicited by cell envelope stress (e.g. antibiotics), oxidative stress, and metal ion limitation and excess.
Maria Harrison

Tory Hendry

Research Scientist

Host-microbe interactions, Bacterial genomic evolution, Ecology of microbiomes.
Maria Harrison

Kathie Hodge

Associate Professor

Biology and diversity of molds and fungi, lately especially those found in food ingredients, as well as those involved in food spoilage.
Hodge Lab: Systematics and evolution of fungi
Michael Milgroom Population biology and evolution of plant pathogens; the integration of population biology and plant disease epidemiology
Milgroom Lab: Population biology of plant pathogens
Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

Professor

Ecology of fungal and oomycete pathogens in natural ecosystems; plant-soil feedbacks; invasion biology and the role of pathogens in facilitating invasive success; biology and ecology of oomycetes, especially species in the genus Pythium
Eric Nelson's Lab: Ecology of Oomycetes
Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson

Professor

Genetics of quantitative disease resistance; international agriculture; current focus on two diseases of maize that are important both in the United States and in Africa: northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot
Nelson Lab: Genetic Dissection of Maize Disease Resistance
Teresa Pawlowska

Teresa Pawlowska

Associate Professor

Biology and evolution of fungi and their bacterial endosymbionts
Pawlowska Lab: Reproductive Biology of Symbiotic Organisms
Keith Perry

Keith Perry

Associate Professor

Insect vector transmission of plant viruses, cucumber mosaic virus and its vector transmission, the development of diagnostic technologies for plant pathogens with on emphasis on array-based approaches, potato viruses, and potato foundation seed production.; Director of the NYS Foundation Potato Seed Program and the Uihlein Laboratory and Farm
Perry Lab: Plant viruses and aphid vector transmission
Joseph Peters

Joseph Peters

Professor

Chromosome integrity (Transposition; DNA Replication, Recombination and Repair); Functional Genomics.
Bryan Swingle

Bryan Swingle

Courtesy Assistant Professor

Molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions, with emphasis on regulatory systems that contribute to bacterial stress tolerance and survival in plants; genetic recombination in Pseudomonas syringae.
Gillian Turgeon Comparative genetics and genomics of fungal pathogens of cereals
Turgeon Lab: Genetic and Genomic Investigations of Fungal Virulence and Reproductive Mechanisms
Xiaohong Wang

Xiaohong Wang

Courtesy Associate Professor

Molecular basis of plant-nematode interactions, host resistance to the potato cyst nematodes
Wang lab: Molecular mechanisms of nematode parasitism and management of the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis