Study systems include
Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus
I am interested in evolution of RNA viruses, specifically, how vectors affect the evolutionary dynamics of RNA viruses with respect to transmission.
I am currently working with the RNA virus ZYMV (Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus), which is a non-persistent, aphid-transmitted disease that infects a wild gourd (Curcurbita pepo ssp. texana). I am investigating:
- Evolutionary changes in the capsid protein that occur within a host plant over the course of infection
The diversity and nature of the evolutionary changes that can survive transmission via aphid vectors to new hosts of the same species
Differences in the evolutionary trajectory of the capsid protein across host species and across aphid vectors