My research program focuses on discovery of beneficial bacterial endophytes isolated from plants grown in various environmental conditions by characterizing their abilities to promote plant growth, to solubilize phosphate, to fix atmosphere nitrogen, and to produce siderophore, and testing antibacterial and antifungal activities. Ultimate goal is to develop low input and sustainable agricultural production systems utilizing beneficial bacterial endophytes, particularly on marginal lands and poor soil. Additionally, we also work on bioremediation with plants and beneficial endophytes for reclamation of sites contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH).
Current Research Projects:
Selected Recent Publications
Research Grant Awards
PI: USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program: $39,798. Beneficial Bacterial Endophytes Improve Grape Vine Growth and Cold Tolerance to Strengthen the Virginia Wine Industry. October 2014-September 2017.
PI: Town of Altavista: PCB Remediation with Switchgrass and Bacterial Endophytes: Contract Research $36,000. December 2015 – August 2016.
PI: DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: $734,000. Development of a Low Input and Sustainable Switchgrass Feedstock Production System Utilizing Beneficial Bacterial Endophytes. 8/1/2010 – 7/31/2014 with one year No Cost Extension (http://genomicscience.energy.gov/research/ DOEUSDA/2010awards.shtml).