Conducts research on important soil-borne fungal pathogens of ornamental plants, including Rhizoctonia solani. Current research interests include: characterization and utilization of hypovirulent isolates of R. solani for biological control and/or growth promotion of ornamental plants in the greenhouse; characterization of fungal double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs),fungal genes and biochemical processes affecting virulence; transformation and transfection of R. solani with fungal dsRNAs; and, exploration and development of biorationals and composts as disease suppressive alternatives to methyl bromide.
E-Mail Dilip.Lakshman@ars.usda.govor Phone (301)504-6413
Specializes in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Develops fundamental information on cross talks between plant hormones,signaling pathways and regulatory genes involved in nutrient accumulation,fruit ripening, senescence, programmed cell death, and plant responses to environmental extremes. Studies assembly and function of the photosystem II reaction center proteins. Investigates integration of genetically engineered crops into sustainable, alternative agriculture from biochemical, molecular genetics and biotechnological perspectives. Functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics are used for discovery research and to understand transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in plants.
E-Mail Autar.Mattoo@ars.usda.govor Phone (301)504-6622
Conducts research on plant/soil ecology and biogeochemistry of agroecosystems. Current research focus is on the fundamental differences between organic and conventional farming systems, in particular how changes in microbial community structure and function influence greenhouse gas flux, organic matter cycling and plant decomposition.
E-Mail Jude.Maul@ars.usda.gov or Phone (301)504-9068
Conducts basic and applied research on composting, compost amended soil, and rhizospheremicrobes, and microbially- mediated processes that can be used to improve and preserve soil, water, and air quality in sustainable agroecosystems.
E-Mail Pat.Millner@ars.usda.govor Phone (301)504-5631
Conducts cover crop systems research for ecologically based crop/weed management to maintain crop profitability while enhancing soil and water quality and reducing crop production energetic requirements. Empirical agronomic research in a long-term cropping system experiment and additional field trials are coupled with simulation models to optimize agro-ecosystem economic profitability and environmental sustainability.