Lorena Isabel Rangel

Graduate Student Researcher

I am interested in plant-microbe interactions, specifically the role of epiphytic bacteria affecting plant health and food safety.

Currently, I am attending the University of California, Davis and working towards my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Johan Leveau in the Plant Pathology department.

Please click the links at the bottom of the page to view my LinkedIn profile showing a brief overview of my experience and my YouTube channel that contains a few short videos of environmental bacteria using microscopy.



Interested in Plant Pathology?

I am often asked, “what is plant pathology?”. Also referred to as phytopathology, it is defined as the study of plant diseases. I like to explain how it is an interdisciplinary science that encompasses a variety of areas including microbiology, botany, crop sciences, molecular biology, genetics, ecology and even entomology. It is important to realize that yes, it is the study of plant diseases, and often this is seen in applied research, but there is also basic research being performed that may not directly include plant pathogens. For instance, an exciting and new area that is falling under the plant pathology umbrella is research regarding phytobiomes. This has to do with the interactions between the plant and the associated microorganisms. I am especially interested in these interactions and how bacterial communities may cooperatively affect the physiology of the plant or allow for non-leaf associated organisms to establish. This type of microbe-microbe-plant interaction research can be extended to improve crop yields and feed our growing population, which is an ongoing and important challenge in global agriculture for the foreseeable future.

I was recently asked how to get involved with plant pathology research. Few colleagues and I wrote up how we launched our careers and offered advice to anyone that is interested. This can be found in the APS Career Development page here.

Below are a few more links highly pertinent to the field of plant pathology:

APS: American Phytopathological Society

ISPP: International Society for Plant Pathology

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture