James Preston

Emeritus Faculty

Description of Research

1) Selection of bacterial enzymes for the depolymerization of plant biomass and its fermentative conversion to alternative fuels and bio-based products. Cloning and expression of endoxylanases in bacterial biocatalysts for conversion of glucuronoxylan polymers of the hemicellulose fraction of hardwoods and crop residues to alternative fuels and biobased products.

2) Evolution of molecular mechanisms involved in obligate parasitic relationships of Pasteuria spp. with phytopathogenic nematodes and claderocerans. The goal of this effort is to develop protocols to apply Pasteuria spp. as alternatives to chemical nematicides for the control of root-knot and other phytopathogenic nematodes.  3) Molecular mechanisms associated with formation of bacterial biofilms.  Formation and function of Beta-1,6-poly-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in bacteria, including plant pathogenic species of Xanthomonas, e.g. the causative agents of citrus canker (X. axonopodis pv. citri) and bacterial spot on pepper and tomato (X. vesicatoria).

Professional Activities
    • Undergraduate Coordinator 1978 to 1980.
    • Graduate Coordinator 1990 to 1991; 2003 to 2005. University of Florida Graduate Council 1985
    • Editorial Board. Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1996-2001.
    • Editorial Board. Journal of Bacteriology. 2005-present.
    • Faculty Advisory Committee to the Vice President of IFAS, 2002-2004.
    • University Senate 2001-2003.
    • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor 2005-2008.

James Preston