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


Mamata K C

MS student
(334) 844-5015

Research Focus

Growth and biofilm formation of different strains of Xylella fastidiosa and their interaction in plant sap.

  • B.S. degree from Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal

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

  • Aaron Martin – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Alex Kim B.S. – Biomedical Sciences
  • Andrew G. Whitis – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Brandon M. Fairless – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Clare E. Fields – B.S. Microbiology
  • Courtney Kloske – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Courtney Moore – Visiting Alabama State University student
  • Cristine M. Kreitzer – B.S. Microbiology
  • Daniel H. Duncan – B.S. Microbiology
  • Daniel R. Smith – B.S. Biochemistry
  • Elliot Ordoyne – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Heather L. Hart – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • James M. Brannon – B.S. Microbiology
  • Jazmine Wilder – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Jonathon C. Hudson – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Jordan Johnson – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Jordan Schroater – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Kasey Boyd – B.S. Microbiology
  • Kristen L. Schultz – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Lauren Williams – B.S. Nutrition Sciences
  • Lawrence Y. Liu – B.S. Chemical Engineering
  • Lillian Culp – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Logan M. Bond – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Madeline C. Moore – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Megan E. Crump – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Michael Evans – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Rachael Gravel – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Reid McClenny – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Samantha M. Lopez – B.S. Microbiology
  • Sara McCarty – B.S. Biochemistry
  • Sarah R. Wisotsky – B.S. Microbiology
  • Seth B. Champion – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Stephanie L. Clugstone – B.S. Microbiology
  • Travis T. Arnold – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • Whitney Rogers – B.S. Biomedical Sciences
  • William Goodwin – B.S. Agronomy and Soils

Former Lab Members

  • Noel Claudio (M.S.)
  • Marcus Merfa (Ph. D.)
  • Ranlin Liu (M.S.
  • Laura Gomez (Ph. D.
  • Qing Ge (Ph. D.)
  • Hongyu Chen (M.S./Ph. D.)
  • Eber Naranjo (M.S.)
  • Prem Kandel (Ph. D.)
  • Hajeewaka Mendis (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Sy Traore (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Edel Perez Lopez (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Jonathan Oliver (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Jennifer Parker (Lab manager)
  • Fernando Navarrete (M.S.)
  • Luisa Cruz (Ph. D.)

Lab Visitors

  • Serena Amoia (CNR-IPSP, Bari, Italy)
  • Luis Moll (University of Girona, Girona, Spain)
  • Luis Felipe Arias (CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), Córdoba, Spain)
  • Isaac Camacho (CONACYT (The National Council for Science and Technology), Mexico)
  • Manuel Salustri (Sapienza University of Roma, Rome, Italy)
  • Maria del Pilar Velasco Amo (CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), Córdoba, Spain)
  • Carolina Palencia (University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain)
  • Miguel Roman (CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), Córdoba, Spain)
  • Giusy D’Attoma (CNR-IPSP, Bari, Italy)
  • Virginia Ferreira (School of Chemistry, the University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay)
  • Luca de Vincenti (University of Milan, Milan, Italy)
  • Annelis De Clerq (Belgium, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences)
  • Mikaeel Young (University of Central Florida, FL, USA)
  • Sunitha Sukumaran (Texas Tech University, Texas, USA)
  • Abdulaziz Al Mouslem (Auburn University)
  • Mohammed Barde (Auburn University)
  • Ying-Yu Liao (University of Florida, FL, USA)
  • Sophie Cesbron (INRA, National Institute for Agricultural Research, France).
  • Wenlong (Colin) Cai (Auburn University)
  • Rebecca Vaught (Auburn University)
  • Buket Demir (Auburn University)
  • Chan Kang (Auburn University)

Lab Personnel




209 Life Sciences Bldg
Auburn Univ, AL 36849