Donna M. Becker
Professor 2013 New Science Facility
Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University
Research Associate, Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota
Research in my lab involves the study of plant-microbe interactions. The overarching theme involves investigating the microbial ecology of plant-associated microbes and applying that knowledge to improve plant growth. We are primarily focusing on rhizosphere microbes, particularly Streptomyces bacteria and ectomycorrhizal fungi, for their ability to stimulate Pinus resinosa (red pine) seedling growth and increase the ability of the seedling to tolerate environmental or biotic stresses. We are also studying other Streptomyces bacteria for their abilities to inhibit the potato scab disease pathogen, Streptomyces scabies. Other projects have involved isolating and identifying yeast species coexisting on plants, investigating novel plant tissue culture techniques, and examining the impact of aquatic plants on survival of Escherichia coli in lakes.