Jeff Chang, professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, along with Taifo Mahmud, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, recently received funding from Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) to support their research. PBI is a joint NSF-NIFA program.

Plant pathogenic members of the Rhodococcus genus cause an economically important disease that afflicts nurseries, one of the top agricultural commodities in the state of Oregon. These bacteria cause unusual growth deformations, commonly referred to as leafy gall disease, to a wide range of plants. The goal of this research project is to understand the mechanisms by which Rhodococcus cause disease to plants and inform on strategies to help Oregon and US growers mitigate disease risks.