One of the most intriguing challenges for plant biologists is to understand how plants interact with microbial pathogens to result in resistance or disease. Research in the Leach lab has tackled this challenge from both the plant and pathogen sides by integrating physiological, molecular, genomic and genetic approaches performed in the laboratory and field. Our goals are to identify sources of long-lasting, broad-spectrum disease resistance (effective against diverse pathogens), allowing for the development of ecologically sustainable forms of plant disease control. In recent years, we have begun to uncover the genetic basis of other complex traits in rice, such as those contributing to biomass and benefiting human health.
A more comprehensive description of our biomass work can be found here.
Development of molecular diagnostics for an emerging bacterial disease of maize, USDA-APHIS
QTL Engineering, NSF
Self killing turned outward? Investigating the function of a Xathomonas secreted protein and parallels with a toxin anti-toxin system, USDA-NIFA
A Deep Sequencing-Based Genome Discovery Pipeline to Link Genotype to Phenotype in Rice, US-AID-IRRI Linkage
Dietary Rice Bran Supplementation for Gut Mucosal Immunity and Healthy Rice Crop Improvement, Phase II Grand Challenges Explorations- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation