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Takao Kasuga

Molecular Geneticist
Phone: (530) 752-0766
Fax: (530) 754-7195

University of California, Davis

382 Hutchison Hall

Davis, CA 95616



Research Program:

Dr. Kasuga's research is focused on the molecular genetics of Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death. In recent years in California alone, over a million oak trees have been killed by P. ramorum. The pathogen also infects ornamentals, which serve as an inoculum source and means of spread to forest ecosystems. Due to its significance, a genome sequence of the pathogen was published in 2006. Taking full advantage of the genome data, his group conducts comparative genomics and transcriptomics, which will help us to decipher the mechanism of plant-P. ramorum interactions and to facilitate management of the pathogen.


Dr. Takao Kasuga received his Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering from Waseda University in Japan. Then he went to Scotland and received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Aberdeen University in 1995. His dissertation research investigated the population structures of forest pathogens Cronartium flaccidum and Heterobasidion annosum. Dr. Kasuga went on to a postdoctoral position in the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma with Dr. Madan Bhattacharyya, where he was involved in a project to isolate Phytophthora resistance genes in soybean. He then moved to Roche Molecular Systems, Alameda, California, where he studied biogeography of human pathogenic fungus Histoplasma capsulatum with Dr. Thomas White. For the past 6 years, he has been studying fungal development and evolution, at UC Berkeley, with Dr. Louise Glass and Dr. John Taylor, by means of microarray transcriptomics. In 2008, Dr. Kasuga joined the USDA-ARS in Davis, CA.