Research Plant Pathologist
Dr. Christopher Clarke has been with the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory since 2017, researching diseases of importance to the United States potato industry. He conducts research to characterize the diversity of plant pathogen populations and determine key plant determinates of disease resistance and susceptibility. His research program has the goal of developing new tools for the control of agronomically important diseases of potato.
He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Pathology at Virginia Tech where he researched the bacterial plant pathogens Pseudomonas syringae, Ralstonia solanacearum, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria and parasitic weeds in the family Orobanchaceae.
- Identify potato genes involved in susceptibility or resistance to the bacterial pathogen Streptomyces scabies which causes common scab disease.
- Characterize the diversity of Streptomyces scabies populations in the United States.
- Identify genes in Streptomyces scabies necessary for the manifestation of common scab disease.
- Determine the efficacy and mode of action of chemical control approaches for controlling common scab disease of potato.
- Engineer novel genetic resistance in potato and other solanaceous crops against common scab disease and other pathogens of importance to U.S. agriculture.