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Professor, Student Present Research at National Conference

Henderson, Tenn. - Jun 25, 2015

Dr. Caleb Kersey, assistant professor of biology at Freed-Hardeman University, and Darren Heintzman, a junior biology major from Sistersville, West Virginia, attended a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology May 30 - June 2, 2015, in New Orleans.

Heintzman presented a poster at the conference detailing research on pectobacterium carotovorum. The soft rot bacterium produces rot in a number of plants, including carrots, potatoes, celery and tomatoes. Much of the research was done at Tennessee State University in collaboration with Dr. C. Korsi Dumenyo while Kersey was a doctoral student.

Heintzman, a member of Kersey’s research team at FHU, continued the work this year in collaboration with Dumenyo. A team of six students works under the direction of Kersey on research projects.

The aim of the research, according to Kersey, is to understand how the bacterium causes disease and, eventually, to allow for the development of preventative strategies that would minimize crop loss due to soft rot bacteria.

ASM is the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. Dr. Paul Fader, FHU biology professor also attended the conference.