UC Davis Researcher Named Bayer Grants4Ag Award Recipient
Harnessing Friendly Bacterium for Combatting Fungi Growth
To date, there is no effective cure for the effects of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus that damages crops worldwide. Yet, by using friendly bacterium called Pseudomonas mosselii, Brittany Greenwood is working on ways to implement its effectiveness from stopping the fungus from growing.
About Brittany Greenwood
Brittany Greenwood is a Biotechnology PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. Greenwood is from Roanoke, Virginia and completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Virginia Tech. She is involved with the American Society for Microbiology.
Tell us about your research
The focus of my research is the biological control of Fusarium oxysporum. Fusarium oxysporum is a fungal plant pathogen that causes major crop losses globally. My objective is to utilize the soil bacterium Pseudomonas mosselii and an antifungal lipopeptide that it produces, xantholysin, to inhibit the growth of F. oxysporum. Specifically, I am investigating growth inhibition, xantholysin’s mode of action, and the biocontrol capacity of P. mosselii through soil persistence assays, disease reduction assays, and the ability of xantholysin to retain activity in various environmental conditions.
Solving challenging problems has always brought me a sense of purpose and satisfaction
Can you explain that to a non-scientist?
I am using a bacterium to stop the growth of a fungus that causes plant diseases that results in considerable crop loss annually
Why did you choose this area of research?
Solving challenging problems has always brought me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. When I discovered microbiology and how the application of the science has addressed complex issues through innovative solutions, I knew applied microbiology was the field I wanted to pursue. Specifically, I chose sustainable agriculture as an area of research because of my passion for the environment and solving problems.
When I discovered microbiology and how the application of the science has addressed complex issues through innovative solutions, I knew applied microbiology was the field I wanted to pursue.
What are some of the real-world applications of your work?
Pseudomonas mosselii and/or xantholysin could be used by agricultural producers as a control mechanism for formae speciales of Fusarium oxysporum that infect a range of economically important crops.