Conducts phylogenetic, population genetic and genomic research on entomopathogenic fungi in the following areas:
Development of a multi-gene (seven nuclear loci) molecular phylogeny among a globally representative set of strains of the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria and its sexual counterparts in the genus Cordyceps. This program led to the development of novel genetic markers for Beauveria and the phylogeny based on these loci provides an objective framework for ongoing systematic studies in this group, for designing comparative biological studies, and as a basis for assessing diversity among candidate strains biocontrol bioassays.
Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers for Beauveria:
for population genetic analyses
to track field released strains of Beauveria
to assess impact of field-released Beauveria on indigenous communities of Beauveria
to determine the origins and population genetic structure of Beauveria pathogens for use against coffee berry borer and Colorado potato beetle
Identifying and characterizing genes involved in entomopathogenesis using cDNA libraries and expression arrays to understand the basis of virulence by Beauveria toward coffee berry borer and Colorado potato beetle.