Research in Lab Leveau centers on the structure and activity of microbial communities associated with plants. We use culture-dependent and -independent methods to expand our appreciation of the functionally diverse microorganisms that colonize above- and below-ground plant parts. We are interested in how these microbes interact with each other and with their host plant, and how such interactivities may affect plant health and productivity. By adopting a microbial-ecology approach at different spatial, temporal, and pathological scales, we aim for a systems-level understanding of plant microbiota, which will improve our ability to predict, prevent, or reduce plant disease in natural and/or agricultural systems.