Dr. Braham Dhillon
Dr. Dhillon is a molecular plant pathologist working on fungal pathogens of palms, other woody plants and crops of agricultural significance. His research (70%) and extension (30%) programs focus on leveraging pathogen biology for diagnostics and management of fungal pathogens and disease challenges faced by nurseries and stakeholders.
Research: Plant Mycology
Dr. Dhillon's research program conducts basic and applied research aimed at understanding how fungal pathogens infect and colonize plant host tissue, especially, palms. The focus is to utilize genomics tools to dissect host-pathogen interaction and answer questions about genetic determinants of host specificity in plant pathogens. Another aspect relates to understanding how pathogens and pathosystems evolve and how we can effectively use diagnostics and surveillance mechanisms to study pathogen diversity and detect/manage introductions and epidemics.
Palms, an icon of Florida and the tropics, are under constant threat from lethal diseases caused by Fusarium, Ganoderma, Thielaviopsis and other fungal pathogens. The goal of Dr. Dhillon’s extension program is to build and deploy sustainable methods to manage fungal pathogens, bridge the gap between the lab and landscape, and transfer knowledge to Extension specialists and involved citizens.