Lowe-Power lab news

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Spring 2021


  • We’re so proud of our McNair Scholar, Hang Le, who received the President’s Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF) for her research project to characterize how Ralstonia evolution after years of persistence in water. Congrats, Hang!

  • Three of our GDB #wUndergrads graduated this quarter! Jason Avalos, Grace Lankford, and Elva Xian are heading off to improve the world through public health, practicing medicine, and researching plant diseases. Congrats y’all!

  • Stratton, Jonathan, and Becca have had talks accepted at APS Pacific Division and/or APS Plant Health. We’re looking forward to sharing our research with colleagues this month and in August.


  • It has been an exciting quarter for the lab wUndergrads! Elva Xian, Jason Avalos, Maria Charco Munoz, Grace Lankford, and Hang Le all presented research posters at the Undergrad Research Conference (URC). Also, Jason was awarded the Global Disease Biology student of the Month Award!!

  • This month also marked pay-offs for the Lowe-Power lab! We received our first research grants! They’re small Seed grants that will set the stage for exciting findings to come.


  • We are happy to announce that Matt Cope from California State University San Marcos accepted a position in the Plant Pathology graduate group and our lab! Matt has research experience in several microbial ecosystems ranging from marine microbiology to the tooth microbiome. Matt will matriculate in Fall 2021!

  • We are preparing to host Darrielle Williams and Darrell Sparks for PABGAP summer research projects on Ralstonia genomics. We can’t wait to work with y’all!

Winter 2021

Several updates this quarter:

  1. Two GDB undergraduate students joined the lab as remote researchers. Welcome Grace Lankford and Hang Le!

  2. Our lab’s X-ray MicroCT preprint is available on BioRxiv: B. Ingel et al. “Revisiting the source of wilt symptoms: X-ray microcomputed tomography provides direct evidence that Ralstonia biomass clogs xylem vessels”

  3. Jason Avalos and Maria Charco Munoz finalized their data entry and curation for the Ralstonia Global Diversity project. We updated the preprint to reflect their contributions to the preprint. This project was featured on the Open Plant Pathology blog

  4. We gave the lab protocols a new look! They are now view-able as a GitHub Jekyll site, which is a printer-friendly format.

  5. Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Power gave a seminar at NCSU in March! It was great to meet new colleagues and catch up with old colleagues!

Fall 2020

October 2020

Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Power was invited to present the labs’ research at the University of Georgia’s Plant Pathology seminar series and at UC Davis’s Microbiology Seminar series. Dr. Lowe-Power presented “Why do plants wilt? What X-ray computed microtomography can tell us about a model bacterial pathogen”. This seminar should be broadly accessible to the general public as well as plant pathologists, plant biologists, and microbiologists.

The alternate title of the talk is “Shooting plants with X-rays pew pew”.

A recording from the UC Davis seminar is available on Youtube: https://youtu.be/TpFLAiaZy94

Beginning of Fall Quarter!

The Lowe-Power lab welcomes Jason Avalos and Maria Charco Munoz, two new Global Disease Biology undergraduates who will contribute to the meta-analysis of Ralstonia diversity, distribution, and host range.

Last month, the Lowe-Power lab participated in the Plant Pathology Department Retreat. Stratton gave an excellent presentation that covered his and his labmates’ projects in the lab. Dr. Lowe-Power opened a department-wide discussion: “What can we do as individuals, a department, and a field to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion?”

Over the Summer, the lab submitted our first manuscript for peer review. The project was led by two excellent junior scientists. Katie Shalvarjian initiated the project as an undergrad, and Stratton G analyzed the TnSeq data and co-wrote the manuscript. Link to the BioRxiv Preprint. Link to a Twitter Summary of the paper

Spring 2020

June 2020

Kyle Chipman graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Global Disease Biology. Congrats, Kyle! Kyle’s GDB thesis included a literature meta-analysis of Ralstonia diversity, distribution, and host range. Part of his work is hosted on the lab GitHub.

The lab welcomes Dayna Denver as a remote undergrad researcher through the NSURP program. Stratton is supervising Dayna and Elva on twin projects to investigate the distribution of Ralstonia genes across genomes.

May 2020

Dr. Becca Schomer received a JGI Functional Genomics grant with Co-PI Parales and Co-PI Lowe-Power. Way to go, Becca!

April 2020

Wonderful news! Dr. Becca Schomer has received a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellowship to study specificity of Ralstonia membrane receptors. Becca is a postdoctoral fellow co-advised by Dr. Becky Parales and Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Power.

Tiffany prepared and delivered an four-part ad hoc workshop on Scientific Communication: Writing Grants and Papers via Zoom. Check out the the video recordings on the Resources page.

March 2020

We’ve set a new lab motto for Spring 2020: Constraints provide opportunities for Creativity! Due to the Covid19 pandemic, our lab culled our tomato plants, archived our bacteria in the -80, donated our PPE stocks to UC Davis Med, and transitioned to remote work on March 13. Our first priority is health: infectious, physical, and mental. Our second priority is defining & carrying out training and research goals that we can complete remotely.

Winter 2020

Our lab is full of growth this quarter! We welcome M.S. student Jonathan Beutler, postdoc Brian Ingel, and a dynamic duo of undergraduate researchers Kyle Chipman and Elva Xian.

Jonathan enters our lab as member of the International Agriculture and Development graduate group. Before starting at UC Davis in Fall 2019, Jonathan ran a turmeric farm in Hawaii. As a farmer, Jonathan had first-hand experience with Ralstonia. Jonathan is conducting an a thesis evaluating Ralstonia management strategies.

Brian joins us from Caroline Roper’s lab at UC Riverside where he worked on the xylem-dweller Xylella fastidiosa.

Stratton Georgoulis is mentoring the #wUndergrads Kyle and Elva through their first PCRs on route to cloning their first plasmids. As Global Disease Biology students, both Kyle and Elva will be completing research theses in our lab.

Fall 2019

Welcome Plant Pathology PhD student, Stratton Georgoulis, the first trainee of the lab!

Postdoc Becca Schomer has also joined the team. Becca’s main advisor is Becky Parales in the Microbiology and Genetics department.

Summer 2019

We have officially opened our doors at UC Davis!