Luis Fernando Flores

Luis Fernando Flores

  • Ph.D. Student
  • Advised by: Dr. Verónica Román-Reyna
211 Buckhout Lab
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Phytobacteriology
  • Gram-positive bacterial plant pathogens
  • Taxonomy of plant pathogenic prokaryotes
  • Population genetics
  • Genomics


  • B.S. in Agronomy, Major in Crop Protection, Chapingo Autonomous University, 2018.
  • M.Sc. in Plant Biotechnology, CINVESTAV Irapuato, 2023.

Research Interest

Goss’s wilt and leaf blight, caused by Clavibacter nebraskensis, is a significant reemerging disease that poses a severe threat to global maize production. This pathogen has been widespread in recent years throughout the Midwest in the USA, in the southern regions of Texas and Louisiana, and even as far north as Manitoba and Alberta, Canada. Several plant protection organizations have classified this bacterium as a high-risk quarantine pathogen. A recent report from Mexico has raised questions about the potential origin and distribution of the pathogen, particularly from the Aztec lands where maize was domesticated through the U. S. Corn Belt.

My primary research area is centered on understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of plant pathogenic bacteria and their interactions with host plants. I am particularly interested in how factors such as domestication, breeding practices, climatic changes, and evolutionary forces influence these interactions and shape pathogen populations.

Through interdisciplinary approaches integrating ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, genomics, and bioinformatics, the research project aims to elucidate the potential origin of the pathogen and determine the functional biology behind the pathosystem interactions.

Research Publications

  • Flores-López, L. F., Morales-Galván, O., Cando-Narváez, A., Barreto-Turiján, J. E., Xoconostle-Cázares, B., & Castro-Cassagnon, E. (2020). First Report of Xanthomonas phaseoli pv. dieffenbachiae Causing Bacterial Leaf Blight on Anthurium andreanum in Mexico. Plant Disease, 104(4), 0–2.
  • Flores-López, L. F., Morales-Galván, O., Rodríguez-Mejia, M. de L., López-Buenfil, J. A., & Xoconostle-Cázares, B. (2023). Bacterias fitopatógenas, una revisión a su taxonomía (1st ed.). Universidad Autónoma Chapingo. ISBN 978-607-12-0653-4 
  • Flores-López, L. F., Olalde-Portugal, V., Vidaver, A. K., Morales-Galván, Ó., Hernández-Rosales, M., & Huerta, A. I. (2024). Unlocking a Mystery: Characterizing the First Appearance of Clavibacter nebraskensis in Mexican Cornfields. Plant Disease, 108(5), 1374–1381.
  • Morales-Galván, O., Nigam, D., Young, A. J., Ignatov, A. N., Mejía-Sánchez, D., & Flores-López, L. F. (2022). Molecular, Phenotypical, and Host-Range Characterization of Robbsia andropogonis Strains Isolated from Bougainvillea spp. in Mexico. Plant Disease, 106(2), 603–611.
  • Nigam, D., Muthukrishnan, E., Flores-López, L. F., Nigam, M., & Wamaitha, M. J. (2023). Comparative Genome Analysis of Old World and New World TYLCV Reveals a Biasness toward Highly Variable Amino Acids in Coat Protein. Plants, 12(10), 1995.