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My primary area of research is the vector transmission of plant viruses.  Aphids are the most common plant virus vector and my goal is to understand, at the molecular level, how an aphid is able to acquire virus from an infected plant and deliver it to a new site of infection.  The specificity of interactions between a virus and its vector is determined to a large extent by the properties of the virus capsid protein.  I have collaborated to obtain an atomic structure for cucumber mosaic virus and this structure is being used to understand how the surface architecture and physical properties of the virus affect and determine its vector transmission.  A newly initiated and funded area of research is the development of multipathogen detection systems for diseases of solanaceous crops (potato, tomato, pepper, eggplant).  In this cooperative project, nucleic-acid based methods are being employed to develop a macro-array for the detection of virus, bacteria, fungi and oomycete pathogens.