Ioannis Stergiopoulos

Ioannis Stergiopoulos

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Plant Pathology


Stergiopoulos, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, specializes in fungal diseases on plants. Stergiopoulos completed his Ph.D. in plant sciences at Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands, and joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012 from Vanderbilt University.

Research interests:

Plant diseases, fungal plant pathogens, fungal genetics and biology, molecular mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis on plants, comparative fungal genomics, evolution of virulence and host-specificity in fungi, molecular characterization and management of fungicide resistance, evolutionary dynamics of bacterial-fungal bio-interactions.

Brief overview:

We want to provide answers to key questions in fungal disease biology such as what triggers the rise and fall of new plant pathogens, what determines a pathogen’s host range, and how adaptation on a new host shapes, or is shaped by, a pathogen’s genome.

Current projects include work with pathogens of tomato, banana and other key crops. Understanding interactions between plants and microbes is critical for the development of novel strategies to combat diseases in a sustainable and ecologically sound manner. This is extremely important in today’s global ecosystem where infectious diseases caused by fungi are increasingly recognized as a major threat to global food production and security. The ultimate goal of our research is to genetically engineer plants for disease resistance in order to increase yield and quality and to reduce pesticide use.

Current projects:

  • Comparative genomics of (Dothideomycete) fungi infecting tomato, banana, and other key hosts
  • Genome sequencing and mining of tomato powdery mildew
  • Evolutionary dynamics of fungal effector proteins
  • Biochemical and structural proteomics of fungal effector proteins
  • Interfamily transfer of plant immune receptors for broad plant host resistance
  • Molecular mechanisms of fungicide resistance development in tomato powdery mildew
  • Molecular and evolutionary dynamics of bacterial biocontrol agents against target fungal organisms