Microbiology research at IUP has included the following:

Plant-Microbe Interactions, Fungal Genetics, and Plant and Fungal Molecular Virology

  • Characterization and molecular analysis of the genome of the Tomato Mosaic virus (ToMV) using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
  • Comparative analysis of DNA homology to establish taxonomic relationships of fungi.
  • Exploration of the existence of transposable elements (Ty) in plan pathogenic fungi and their involvement in the activation and inactivation of genes for pathogenicity or race specificity.
Microscopic view of tuberculosis-infected lung. Image courtesy of A.J. Cann at www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1.

Role of Environmental Bacteria in Disease

Exploration of how an opportunistic environmental bacterium such as Mycobacterium avium ssp. aviu (M. avium) is able to cause disease in humans, specifically disseminated infections in end-stage HIV/AIDS patients and tuberculosis-like disease in the lungs of those who are healthy.

This research has wide implications for aspects of host-pathogen interaction and prevention of disease and is relevant to the search for preventive medicines against tuberculosis.