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⚠️ Information and Updates Regarding COVID-19's Impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences

Lab Personnel

PI: Dr. Jorge Vivanco, PhD

photo of Dr. Jorge Vivanco

Dr. Jorge Vivanco is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University. He received a B.S. degree in Agronomy from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima-Peru, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from The Pennsylvania State University.  He joined CSU in 2000 to start a program on root biology and the interactions of roots with surrounding organisms.

The primary responsibility of Dr. Vivanco’s program is to develop knowledge on root-microbe interactions related to horticultural crops that could lead to new agricultural technologies and applications.  His program interacts with stakeholders such as horticultural producers and companies interested in this scientific space to create the next generation of products and technologies in agriculture.  In addition, knowledge derived from this program is disseminated to the potato growers in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, as well as to horticultural producers in Colorado and abroad.

Dr. Vivanco’s laboratory has published extensively on these topics (133 research papers) and he has edited two books. His current research focuses on the interactions of roots with the soil microbiome. Recent research suggests that roots can culture specific microbes and microbial functions depending on the stage of development and needs of the crop.  Teasing apart these observations through continued experimentation will catalyze the next agricultural revolution – one that promotes sustainability. This agricultural awakening will involve utilizing the full genetic potential of a crop to promote soil microbial diversity, health and resilience.

Dr. Vivanco interacts closely with the scientific community as a reviewer of scientific publications, research grants and as an Associate Editor of the journal Microbial Ecology. On December 18th, 2014 he was invited to attend a round table discussion in the Office of Science and Technology (OST) of the U.S. White House.  The purpose of this meeting was to initiate discussions to educate the OST on the science, applications and policy related to The Microbiome.  The associate director of this office had weekly meetings with President Obama and wanted to bring this topic to his attention for further development, which is currently ongoing.  Dr. Vivanco has taught the graduate course Roots and Rhizosphere Biology and currently teaches Medicinal and Value Added Uses of Plants.

Dr. Vivanco is married to Dr. Tiffany Weir (Associate Professor of Food Sciences at CSU) and has two sons: Jorge and John. He and his family enjoy travelling to new places to experience new cultures and food.

Lab Members

Sam Monohon

M.S. Student


Hugo Pantigoso

PhD Student

Hugo Pantigoso is a graduate research/teaching assistant at the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Department at CSU since 2017. Hugo’s research focuses on the interaction of soil bacteria communities and plant nutrient acquisition in the rhizosphere. Hugo has been involved in plant research since 2012 in diverse positions in academia and industry working on the planning, designing and executing of research trials on laboratory, greenhouse, and field in a wide range of fruits and vegetable crops. Hugo is an Agronomist graduated from Zamorano University (Honduras, 2013) and Valle Grande School for Agriculture (Peru, 2009). His work experiences cover integrated crop management, plant disease diagnostic, and soil microbiology.

Lab Alumni

Michael DiLegge, Masters Student, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agricultural Sciences, November 15, 2018

Michael J. DiLegge

Mike DiLegge was former a graduate student (M.S.) and was active in the Vivanco lab from November 2015 – July 2020. Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture (w/ botany minor) at CSU in May of 2018 while conducting undergraduate research, and a Master’s degree under Dr. Jorge Vivanco (2020). During his time in the Center of Rhizosphere Biology, Mike’s research revolved around plant-microbial interactions in the rhizosphere. In the past Mike’s research was surrounding biological control organisms of Meloidogyne spp. nematodes, in addition to mechanisms aimed toward reduce symptoms of orchard replanting disease. Mike’s MS thesis was titled “Elucidating rhizobacterial response to autoclave disruption and crop introduction within three agricultural soils” and accepted by CSU in summer of 2020. Now, Mike is working for a company on tissue culture clean-stock production of Cannabis sativa L. with goals to further his education in host-associated microbiome sciences down the road.

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Yanhui He

Yanhui He graduated in 2016 from Shihezi University with a M.E. degree in Environmental Chemical Engineering. She was a visiting scholar in the Center for Rhizosphere Biology at CSU supported by China Scholarship Council (CSC). Yanhui He is currently working on the interaction between root and microbe, especially on the salt stress alleviating effects of bacteria on plant.

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Dr. Jamal Javanmardi

Dr. Jamal Javanmardi, formerly an associate professor from Shiraz University, was pursuing his sabbatical leave at CRB from 2018-2019. In the CRB he worked on the physiological interaction of basil roots with the soil microbiome as well as secondary metabolite profiling of basil cultivars. His research and educational interests are focused on Controlled Environmental Vegetable Production/Physiology, Organic Vegetable Production and Vegetable Transplant Production. Dr. Javanmardi is now a professor at California State University, Chico. 

Photo of Marcia Leite dos Santos

Dr. Marcia Leite dos Santos

Dr. Marcia Leite dos Santos received her bachelor’s degree in Biological sciences at Federal University of Sergipe in Brazil, 2010. Marcia then received a MS degree in Physiological Sciences at Federal University of Sergipe in Brazil, 2013.  Marcia received her second MS degree in Agronomy at Feredal Univeristy of Layras in Brazil, 2015. Marcia Leite dos Santos earned a PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding at Luiz de Queiroz, College of Agriculture – ESALQ, University of São Paulo, Brazil.  From 2017-2018, Marcia took on the position of Research Scholar under the advisory of Dr. Jorge Manuel Vivanco in the CRB at Colorado State University. Marcia’s research interests act mainly on the following topics: Plant genetics with emphasis on Insect/Plant/Root/Microorganism interactions, Rhizosphere Proteomics and Microbiological Biotechnology against herbivorous insects.  

Dr. Qinggang Guo

photo of Qinggang Guo

Dr. Qinggang Guo, was a professor visiting from the Plant Protection Institute;  Hebei Agricultural and Forestry Science, in Baoding, China. He received his doctor degree in China Agricultural University in 2007. During 2018-2019, Dr. Guo was a visiting scholar in the Lab of Dr. Jorge Vivanco, and worked on the ecological mechanism of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR). His research interests are focused on the ecology and molecular genetics of biocontrol agents, especially for the members of Bacillus genus.

Dr. Qiuju Qin

photo of Qiuji Qin

Dr. Qiuju Qin was a visiting scholar at CSU and an associate professor at the Agricultural University of Hebei, China. She received a M.S. degree in Agricultural Insect and Pest Control from Agricultural University of Hebei in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural insect and pest control from China Agricultural University in 2005. Her research interests focus on interactions between Insect/Plant/Microorganisms. Dr. Qin was a member of the CRB from 2018-2019.

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