Posted: November 15, 2022

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Northeast SARE) awards Max Aleman a 2022 Graduate Student Grant.

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Northeast SARE) awarded Max Aleman a 2022 Graduate Student Grant for his proposal titled, "Determining the Impact Changing Host Metabolism has on Leaf Associated Microbiomes for Improved Efficacy of Foliar Biopesticides.” Aleman’s proposal was one of thirty-one selected for funding among forty-nine submissions in the northeast region.

Aleman will use the well-established host-pathogen model system, Pseudomonas syringaepv. tomato causing bacterial speck on tomato to investigate defense responses and its subsequent effects on leaf surface metabolite profiles. The influence of biotic stress induced by the pathogen on leaf surface metabolic profiles will be measured utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance and ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography. Subsequently species composition associated with patterns of defense elicitation and spatial distance from the initial site of infection will be examined via metagenomic sequencing and diversity analysis. By improving our understanding of how pathogen-induced changes in the host metabolome affect the plant microbiome, they hope to identify metabolite-microbe interactions that can be exploited to limit pathogen growth and plant disease.

Max is a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Kevin L. Hockett.