Crop Disease Research

Dr. King presented work at the 2009 Pierce's Disease Research Symposium in Sacramento, CA. King is collaborating on a $520,000 research effort to address the grape crop disease in California. Pierce's Disease is an infection of grape vines caused by the bacterium, Xyllela fastidiosa. The projects aim is to give grapevines resistance to X. f. through a transgenic rootstock incorporating a gene from a plant that is resistant to X. f. King's laboratory created molecular models of pectinase inhibitor proteins from more than a dozen candidate plant species and screened their potential for inhibiting X.f. pectinases computationally. The results were used to support and guide the molecular/plant biology work being carried out at UC-Davis in Dr. John Labavitch's lab. Pictures of the projects are below.