Lab Personnel

Dr. Leonardo De La Fuente


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Dr. Deepak Shantharaj 

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Research Focus
Plant-microbial interactions and Integrated plant disease management on Xylella fastidiosa. 

  • B.Sc. in Major-Chem, Bot, Zoo), University of Mysore, India
  • M.Sc. in Plant Science, University of Mysore, India
  • M.Phil. in Seed Technology, University of Mysore, India
  • Ph.D. in Biotechnology, University of Mysore, India

Graduate Students

Noel Claudio

MS Student
(334) 844-5015

Research Focus
Interactions between different subspecies of Xylella fastidiosa

  • B.S. Industrial Microbiology (2019), University of Puerto Rico Arecibo Campus
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory Technician, University of Puerto Rico Arecibo Campus (2019-2020)

Navdeep Kaur

MS Student
(334) 844-5015

Research Focus
Mechanisms of virulence of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa

  • B.S. degree in Agriculture from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (India)

Ranlin Liu

Ph.D. Student
(334) 844-5015

Research focus: Natural competence and functional genomics on Xylella fastidiosa

  • B.S. degree Plant Protection, South China Agricultural University
  • M.S. degree Plant Pathology, Auburn University

Ge, Qing, Ranlin Liu, Paul A. Cobine, Neha Potnis, and Leonardo De La Fuente. “Phenotypic and Phylogenetic Characterization of Cu Homeostasis among Xylella fastidiosa Strains.” Pathogens 10, no. 4 (2021).


  • The Xylella Files seminar, 2021 (Live presentation)
  • 3rd European Conference on Xylella fastidiosa and XF-ACTORS final meeting, 2021 (Poster)
  • College of Agriculture Graduate Research Poster Showcase, 2021 (Poster)
  • 7th Xanthomonas Genomics Conference, 2022 (Live presentation)

Elise Woodruff

MS Student

Advisor – Prof. Nathaniel Hardy

Research Focus
Xylella fastidiosa plant and insect interaction (co-advisor De La Fuente)

  • B.S. Entomology (2022), Texas A&M

Undergraduate Students

Robert Bell
(334) 844-5015

  • Major – Applied Biotechnology

Former Lab Members

  • Marcus Merfa

Lab Visitors

  • Sophie cesbron – Visiting Scholar,  Engineer at INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research), France.
  • Wenlong (Colin) Cai, Graduate Student. School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University. Advisor: Cova R. Arias
  • Arjun Subedi, Graduate Student. Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University. Advisor: Kira L. Bowen
  • Rebecca Vaught, Undergraduate Student. Department of Biological Sciences. Advisor: Scott R. Santos
  • Buket Demir, Graduate Student. Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, Auburn University. Research Project: Efficacy of antibacterial waterborne polyurethanes. Advisor: Maria L. Auad
  • Chan Kang, Graduate Student. Department of Materials Engineering, Auburn University. Advisor: Ruel A. (Tony) Overfelt

Lab Personnel




209 Life Sciences Bldg
Auburn Univ, AL 36849