Department of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology
Ithaca, NY 14853
August 2007-present: MS/PhD student, Plant Pathology
2006, BS, Environmental Science and Policy (Concentration: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology), University of Maryland, College Park
2006, BA, Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park Date, Degree, Major, College/University Current Graduate Advisor
Graduate Advisor: Gary Bergstrom
The TrigoCor strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens is a promising biological control agent for Fusarium head blight of wheat, caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum (teleomorph Gibberella zeae). I am using TrigoCor as a model to understand why it, like many BCAs, provides consistent FHB control in the greenhouse but not in the field. To address this question I am investigating the ecology of Bacillus and of the Bacillus-Fusarium interaction on wheat surfaces, using a combination of basic and applied methodologies.
The three overarching objectives for my graduate research are:
1. To describe the temporal dynamics of Bacillus populations and of a key Bacillus-synthesized antifungal metabolite on wheat heads in the greenhouse and the field, relative to disease control.
2. To visualize the interaction between Bacillus and Fusarium on wheat floral surfaces. More specifically, I am evaluating the spatial distribution of both species, and am characterizing the mechanism through which Bacillus alters Fusarium colonization over time.
3. To increase the longevity of Bacillus-produced antifungal compounds on wheat surfaces and evaluate the impact on disease control.
2007 Agricultural Science Research Technician, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. National Arboretum
2006 Plant Genetics Research Assistant. University of Maryland Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture
2005-2006 Plant Pathology Research Assistant. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Fruit Lab
Awards and Honors
2011 Awarded APS Student Travel Award and Cornell Graduate School Conference Grant
2010-2011 Elected President of Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association
2009-2010 Elected Vice President of Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association
2007 Awarded Cornell University Graduate School Fellowship
2006 Graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a Dean’s Academic Scholar, University of Maryland, College Park
2006 Second place winner in ASA-CSSA-SSSA’s Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Manuscript Contest
Professional Societies and Working Groups
2012-present American Society for Microbiology
2012-present American Association for the Advancement of Science
2008-present American Phytopathological Society
2006-present Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
Crane, J.M., Gibson, D.M., Vaughan, R.H., and Bergstrom, G.C. 2012. Iturin levels on wheat spikes linked to biological control of Fusarium head blight by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Phytopathology. (in press.) doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-07-12-0154-R
Crane, J. 2007. Response of strawberry black root rot to abiotic and biotic soil factors. J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ. 36:27-31.