Molecular Diagnostics and Microbial Forensics
Plant pathogenic bacteria cause numerous diseases of plants throughout the world and have a direct impact on food security. Hawaii relies on the imported food supply and also imported seeds and propagative stock of plants which introduced new bacterial species and strains; introduction of these new strains could have huge impact on local crops and ornamentals. Effective and sensitive detection methods (lab and field-deployable) are required to detect the latent infection with higher sensitivity and reliability; help to identify the disease(s) and the causal organism(s). Early and accurate detection on local crops and ornamentals, is extremely important for effective disease management. Detection tools are also important to facilitate epidemiological, host-bacterial interactions studies and quantification of disease resistance in breeding programs. Therefore, our goal in this project is to develop robust, accurate and reliable lab and field deployable diagnostic tools for application in routine diagnostics, microbial forensics and surveillance. We use advance methodology to develop these lab and field-deployable tools.