Ph.D. Plant Pathology , Penn State University 2005
M.S. Plant Pathology , Seoul National University 2000
Fungi are major pathogens of plants, acting like thieves who come only to steal and destroy. Other fungi are beneficial to plants, enhancing plant productivity. We are interested in understanding what makes fungi pathogenic or beneficial to plants. The mission of the Khang laboratory is to advance our knowledge on cellular and molecular biology of plant-fungal interactions. This knowledge will provide a foundation to solve global food challenges.
To achieve successful colonization, intracellular pathogenic and beneficial fungi must secrete effector proteins into living host cells and acquire nutrients from them. Fascinating, but largely unanswered, questions are how fungi know when to produce effector proteins, how effector proteins are delivered into host cells and what these proteins do inside host cells, how effector genes evolve, and what strategies fungi use to secure nutrients from living host cells. We are addressing these questions by studying rice blast disease, which is caused by the hemibiotrophic, ascomycetous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Our laboratory uses a combination of molecular genetics, cell biology, genomics, and biochemistry approaches.
US Department of Agriculture, 2009 – 2012, “On the Mechanism of Secretion of Rice Blast Effectors Inside Living Rice Cells”. PI: Valent, B.; Co-PIs: Khang, C.H. and Park, S.