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Many plant traits, such as disease resistance, biomass accumulation, yield, health benefits, etc., are controlled by multiple genes in Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL). Although they govern important plant traits, little is known about the genes that control QTL. Research in the Leach lab is focused on characterizing the genes governing two types of plant QTL, those involved in broad-spectrum, durable disease resistance and those involved in biomass accumulation. The long term goal is to identify target points for plant modification to improve these traits for sustainable crop production. Each of our projects involves rice (Oryza sativa); we have contributed to the development of genomic and genetic resources that make rice an ideal monocot model crop plant. We use different bacterial and fungal pathogens to understand disease resistance mechanisms. All current projects involve collaborations with other labs in the USA and internationally.
Research Article: Med Aromat Plants 2016, 5: 271