Our research focuses on studying two groups of economically important plant-parasitic nematodes: 

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN): the most devastating pathogen of soybean, causing annual yield losses estimated at $1.5 billion in the US. 
Root-knot nematodes (RKN): cause serious problems in specialty crops worldwide.


We work on interdisciplinary research by collaborating with extension scientists, mycologist, geneticist, bioinformatician, engineers to reach our goals.



1. Distribution and virulence phenotyping of SCN and RKN in Indiana. We aim to provide up-to-date and field-specific information for growers to make data-driven decisions on nematode management.






2. Biological control of nematodes. We aim to discover and develop beneficial microbes, suppressive soils and cultural practices for effective and consistent control of SCN and RKN.





eggs-stained-by-propidium-iodide.jpg3. Nematode biology and virulence: We study the molecular mechanism of nematode virulence and development using transcriptome, genome analysis, and functional characterization. We aim to translate the knowledge into nematode control tactics using biotechnology (e.g., RNAi, gene-editing) or cultural practices.




4. Host resistance: We aim to identify and characterize novel sources of soybean resistance to virulent SCN.






5. Research methods: We aim to develop new methods or techniques to facilitate research in plant nematology.