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Welcome to the Cartinhour lab!

Understanding the environmental conditions and genetic mechanisms that control the expression of virulence-related genes is a central problem in molecular plant pathology. Our current view of the disease process is hindered by the lack of information regarding the molecular events that trigger and regulate the program of pathogenesis within the pathogen.

Dramatic improvements in sequencing technology in recent years have positioned us to look at regulatory mechanisms in new ways. The availability of complete genomic sequences for three diverse Pseudomonas syringae pathovars represents a unique platform for exploring the pathogen side of plant-pathogen interactions from a systems perspective. In particular, these genomic resources, combined with modern high-throughput functional genomics techologies, can be used to better understand the mechanisms used by Pseudomonas syringae to sense, process and respond to environmental cues leading to development and progression of disease. The particular syringae pathovar we study is called Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, most often known in shorthand as DC3000. This model plant pathogen causes disease in tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana.

Our interdisciplinary group is unusual in that it includes senior computational scientists as well as molecular biologists and bacterial geneticists. Bioinformatics is integrated into the entire research cycle, from experimental design through hypothesis generation and testing. The breadth of the team allows us to tackle complex experiments such as those involving microarrays, large-scale transcriptome characterization, and other high-throughput methodologies. 

Current Projects 

  • Identification of regulons
  • Global transcription analysis
  • Global expression analysis 

More information on research

Blight circa 1910

E. coli colonies containing randomly cloned DC3000 promoters upstream of a lac
reporter gene. The blue color indicates expression of lac from the cloned
promoter (B. Swingle)


Overexpression of ECF sigma factor PvdS produces a fluorescent phenotype due to secretion of pyoverdine (right). Wild type DC3000 is shown on the left for comparison (B. Swingle)

Bioinformatics analysis of PvdS-responsive promoter structure in DC3000 (B. Swingle and D. Schneider)