One of the most intriguing challenges for plant biologists is to understand how plants interact with microbial pathogens to result in resistance or disease. Research in the Leach lab has tackled this challenge from both the plant and pathogen sides by integrating physiological, molecular, genomic and genetic approaches performed in the laboratory and field. Our goals are to identify sources of long-lasting, broad-spectrum disease resistance (effective against diverse pathogens), allowing for the development of ecologically sustainable forms of plant disease control. In recent years, we have begun to uncover the genetic basis of other complex traits in rice, such as those contributing to biomass and benefiting human health.
Photographs provided by C. Song, P. Tanger, R. Corral & C. Jahn
August 2013, Dr. Jan Leach and Jillian Lang attended the 2nd Beijing International Symposium on Molecular Plant Pathology and the 10th International Congress of Plant Pathology in Beijing, China where Dr. Leach gave a plenary talk titled "Plant Pathology in a Globalized Economy". Find her slides here.
June 2013, Brad Tonnessen awarded CGIAR-GRiSP-USAID grant titled 'Improving Broad-Spectrum Disease Resistance in Rice: Enrichment of Regulatory Elements for Defense Response Genes'
April 2013, Dr. Valérie Verdier named Biosciences in Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) Affiliated Scientist
December 2012, Jan Leach named to National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity