REU: Harnessing beneficial bacteria to control plant diseases

Bacterial friends and foes

Pending funding approval.

For information contact

Clemencia Rojas

See Projects

Student working with bacteria.
Student working with bacteria.

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Plant Pathology
  • Microbiology

This program encourages applications from...


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

REU students will investigate beneficial bacteria that produce antimicrobials against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Components of the project include: Generation and evaluation of bacterial mutants to identify genes and pathways responsible for antimicrobial production; Isolation of bacterial secretome to identify specific molecules related to antimicrobial activity; Comparative genomics to identify unique genes and pathways in antimicrobial producer strains; transcriptomics analysis to identify mode of action on target pathogens.


  • Competitive stipend: $6,500
  • Suite-style room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Clemencia Rojas Plant Pathology and Center for Plant Science Innovation

Dissecting the antagonistic interaction between Pseudomonas protegens PBL3 and Burkholderia glumae towards development of biopesticides to control Bacterial Panicle Blight of rice

The beneficial bacterium Pseudomonas protegens PBL3 has antimicrobial activity against the rice pathogen Burkholderia glumae. This project seeks to characterize the molecules responsible for this activity and their mode of action.