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    The research in the institute covers many aspects in the areas of plant pathology and microbiology, such as plant virology, plant mycology and fungal diseases, mechanisms of interactions between plants and pathogens, etiology and molecular pathogenesis, applied molecular biology, biological control and applied microbiology.

    1. Plant virology and viral disease

    The institute features a cutting-edge research program on plant viruses and viral diseases. Of particular concerns are those that cause significant yield losses in China, such as single-stranded DNA geminiviruses and rice viral diseases.

    * Genomic structure and gene function of geminiviruses

    * Biology and pathology of negative-stranded RNA virus and reverse genetics analysis

    * Molecular aspects of pathogenesis of plant viruses

    * Genetic engineering for plant virus resistance

    2. Plant mycology and fungal diseases

    Our research focuses on economically important fungal diseases such as rice blast, wheat head blight and grey mold, and the biology and pathology of causative fungi.

    * Functional genomics of pathogenic fungi

    * Molecular mechanism of pathogenesis

    * Mechanism of fungicide resistance

    * Fungi diversity and epidemiology

    3. Mechanisms of interactions between plants and pathogens

    In this area, mechanisms of resistance in rice, wheat, vegetables and other crops against major diseases such as rice blast, sheath blight, wheat powdery mildew, cotton blight etc., are studied. The following topics are of particular focus:

    * Function of transcription factor in abiotic stress response

    * Molecular mechanisms for plant defense responses

    * Ultra-structures of fungal infection and cytopathology

    * Signal transduction in disease resistance

    4. Etiology and epidemiology

    The main research areas in this field are identification, detection and epidemiology of pathogenic plant virus, bacteria, fungi and nematodes. Risk analysis of important plant diseases are also carried out. The following topics are of our particular concerns:

    * Etiology, detection and diversity of plant viruses

    * Etiology of plant pathogenic bacteria

    * Risk analysis of the quarantine diseases

    * Soil-borne diseases of vegetable and rice

    * Etiology of plant pathogenic nematodes

    5. Biological control and applied microbiology

    Our research interests include biological control of the soil-borne plant diseases of cereals and vegetables, microbial ecology, biodiversity of the beneficial microorganisms, screening, detection and isolation of effective substances and their mechanisms. The following topics are of particular interests:

    * Biological control of the soil-borne diseases and the mechanisms 

    * Utilization of the Trichoderma and the enzymes for the soil-borne diseases management 

    * Ecology and biodiversity of the antagonistic microorganisms

    * Methodology on screening and preparation of effective bio-control agents

    * Studies on beneficial microbial resource and their molecular systemic biology

    * Genetic engineering of the bio-control agents

    6. Applied molecular biology

    The researches in this field contain isolation, cloning of the disease resistant genes and hormone regulation genes, analysis of their functions, tissue culture of virus free plants, transgenic plants for disease resistant and risk assessment. The following topics are our main focuses:

    * Isolation of plant growth-promoting microbe 

    * Genetic engineering for pest resistance

    * Characterization of antimicrobial substance

    * Rapid tissue culture of virus free vegetables, flowers and medical herbs