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 Christine S. McCauslin Ph.D.

Christine Seitz McCauslin, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry; Chair, Department of Science

Department of Science

Coad Science Building
Room 212B

+ (301) 447-5264

Ph.D. Genetics/Biomedical Science; George Washington

MS Biomedical Science; Hood College

BS Biology; Indiana University of PA

Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry

Research Interests

Environmental Impacts and Modes of Action of the Non-Toxic Fungicide, Calcium Propionate.

Turfgrasses, commercially important food crops, and ornamental flowers are highly susceptible to fungal infection making disease management a multibillion dollar industry. One of the major challenges facing this industry is development of control strategies that are environmentally friendly. Calcium propionate (CaP), long used as a preservative in baked goods, has antifungal properties that are likely translatable to common fungal species that are pathogenic to plants. The previously demonstrated safety record of CaP as a food preservative makes it particularly attractive as an antifungal agent in agriculture applications. Our group has established that CaP is effective against multiple fungal species that represent a commercial threat. However, use as an environmentally friendly fungicide alternative will require evidence that CaP is not harmful to beneficial microbial soil species, and does show adverse effects on the mammalian species that encounter it. Thus, our investigations are focused in three areas: 1) environmental impacts of CaP on soil biodiversity; 2) mode of action in fungal targets; and 3) biochemical impacts of CaP in mammalian species.

Lab Members

Current Members

  • Joan Nyakaana-Blair
  • Cole Burrows
  • Logan Lencheski
  • Marcarena Carrillo
  • Ifunanya Chukwukelo

Past Members

  • Veronica Balick
  • Malik Kadir
  • Aaron Slifer