Plants are in constant interactions with a large diversity of microorganisms, that belong to various biological kingdoms including archaea, bacteria, fungi and protista. In nature, these inter-kingdom interactions can be both cooperative and detrimental to the host-plants. Our major research focus is to understand the dynamics of inter-kingdom microbiome-interactions and how it affects the crop production. We use cutting-edge culture-independent (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metabolomics) and culture-dependent (culturomics) methods combined with computational biology. We especially employ a systematics-based approach, so that we can identify individual organisms involved in these interactions, their biological functions, impacts on neighboring niches, and metabolic activity.
Although we are currently not recruiting graduate students, potential candidates with keen interest in understanding how inter-kingdom interactions between microorganisms affect plant health are encouraged to visit the "current research" page for more information on the research themes. For more information contact Dr Sanjay Antony-Babu (sanjay[at]tamu.edu).