Bio-based antibacterial seed treatments to improve soil and plant health [E2016-02]

Project Description: 

This project will test the efficiency and survivability of bacteriophages when, combined with common polymers used for seed treatments. Bacteriaphages are viruses that attach to specific receptors on the surface of bacteria. This specificity means a bacteriophage can infect only certain receptors to which they can bind, allowing them to target and destroy harmful bacteria and not beneficial bacteria.  The study will focus on the effectiveness of treated tomato and maize seeds on the diseases of tomato speck and Goss's Wilt, respectively. They also will look at how these treatments affect seed germination and seed vigor.

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Lead Investigator: 
Rebecca Cademartiri
Lead Investigator Bio: 

Rebecca Cademartiri is an adjunct assistant professor in the College of Engineering at Iowa State University. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Potsdam/University of Toronto in physical chemistry in 2005. She has done post-doctorate work at McMaster University, Tufts University and Harvard University from 2005-2011. Her research areas of interest include interactions of biological entities with materials, simple and inexpensive detection schemes in food safety and public health, drug delivery, and antibacterial and antiviral surfaces.


Co Investigators: 

Susana Goggi, ISU Department of Agronomy