Ali Lab



Current Projects

Lab people






Biorationals and nanoparticles, and secondary metabolites

Biological control: The occurrence of fungicide-resistant pathogens and the potential adverse effects of pesticides on the environment require using alternative low-risk strategies such as biological control agents (BCA) for disease control.Currently, however, BCAs are not used extensively in integrated disease management programs of crops.BCAs are wide spread in the environment and their deployment for controlling crop pathogens and diseases will reduce exposure of growers and consumers to chemicals and will mitigate fungicide-associated health and environmental risks. Our goal is to conduct research on several commerciall and experimental BCAs against major fungal pathogens.

Secondary Metabolites mining: Several medicinal plants and microorganisms are rich sources of bioactive compounds. Although these sources are primarily used for discovering human medicines, they also hold promise for identifying antimicrobial compounds that target plant pathogens. In collaboration with scientists in China, our lab are screening several traditional chinese medicinal plants for secondary metabolites that display antimicrobial activity. Ultimate goal of this project is to diversify repertoire of chemistries for controlling plant diseases and to mitigate the impact of appearance of fungicide-resistant strains of plant pathogens on agriculture.

Synthesis and application of Nanoparaticles for the control of plant diseases: In this project, we explore various medicinal plants for the production of nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are then physically characterized using ultra violet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray(EDX) analysis. Synthesized nanoparicles are then evaluated for control of plant pathogens in vitro and in planta.





Outline of bioactivity-driven secondary metabolite profiling



Snippets from biological control experiments in Ali Lab. F. oxysporum grown on a PDA plate without Bacillus (control, left panel) and with Bacillus (right panel); white mycelial growth in the center is inhibited substantially by Bacillus (four tan spots).