The major research subject of my laboratory is bacterial panicle blight (BPB) of rice, which is caused mainly by the gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia glumae. To understand and overcome this rice disease, research is being performed with three directions; 1) studying the virulence mechanism of B. glumae, 2) studying the rice disease resistance to BPB, and 3) developing new methods for the management of BPB.
1. Study of B. glumae to understand its virulence mechanism
B. glumae produces multiple virulence factors for pathogenesis. Our study of B. glumae focuses on the regulatory and signaling systems underlying the sophisticated regulation of virulence factors for successful infection. A diverse array of molecular genetic and genomic studies are being performed to expand our knowledge of the pathogen, which will ultimately lead to the development of novel disease management strategies for BPB.
2. Study of rice disease resistance to BPB and other major rice diseases
To identify the genetic elements involved in the disease resistance to BPB and other rice diseases, we are performing genetic and genomic studies of rice using various molecular markers and high-throughput sequence data of rice genomes. We are also making efforts to generate new rice lines having enhanced disease resistance.
3. Development of disease management strategies for BPB and other rice diseases
We are seeking various chemical and biological agents which can suppress BPB as well as other major rice diseases to develop effective and sustainable strategies to manage rice diseases.