Research in the areas of microbiology and plant biology involves systems-level investigations into the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of plants, bacteria and fungi. Our studies take advantage of technological advances in genome sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, and address fundamental questions related to infectious disease (both human and plant), stress tolerance, and symbiotic relationships. The labs in this area provide outstanding training opportunities for motivated post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates.
3.5 million dollar Ontario Research Fund grant awarded to Drs Weretilnyk and Cameron to use next generation sequencing to reveal the incredible stress tolerance mechanisms of the Yukon native plant Thellungiella. The long term goal is use this knowledge to improve crop stress tolerance and sustainability
Supported by a Genome Canada grant, work from the Finan lab has identified novel genes in phosphate and hydroxyproline metabolism and essential genes on the ‘megaplasmids’ of the plant symbiotic bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti (White et al., Mol Micro)
Funded by Cystic Fibrosis Canada, work in the Elliot lab has uncovered a global antibiotic regulator with the capacity to stimulate new antibiotic production by Streptomyces bacteria (Gao et al., mBio)
Findings from the Xu lab are revealing new insights into fungal pathogenesis (Chowdhary et al., Env Micro)