Petri dishes with cultures


Students extracting RNA
Students extracting RNA from plant tissue

Welcome to the Field of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, which is managed by the Department of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University.

From our beginnings as one of the first departments of plant pathology in the country, our tradition of excellence has centered on training graduate students for leadership in the field.  As a graduate student in our Department, you will be part of this extraordinary legacy.

We invite you to explore our three program concentrations

Or browse our faculty profiles to see where you would fit into our team.

Graduate Student Research Spotlight

Hanh Ngoc Lam

Hanh Lam

Hanh Ngoc Lam

My current project is to understand how Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 regulates its Type III secretion system (T3SS) to defeat multiple layers of plant defense. HrpL, an alternative sigma factor, is the direct regulator of the T3SS. ChIPseq, RNAseq results and HrpL motif search reveal that HrpL binds at several interesting and unexpected sites, suggesting that the scope of HrpL-regulation is, in fact, not exhaustively known. These binding sites potentially implicate genes that were thought to be unrelated to pathogenesis or which were not even annotated as genes when the P. syringae genome was fully sequenced. Monitoring the effect on in planta growth and hypersensitive response of new members of the hrpL regulon may provide insight into the interaction of the bacterium and its host.