Biotic Stress/Applied Plant Bio
CS-13-4 - Plant genes commonly affecting the interactions with pathogenic and symbiotic microbes
Monday, July 16
2:03 PM - 2:23 PM
Sebastian Schornack, PhD
Research Group Leader and Royal Society UR Fellow
University of Cambridge, Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU)
The study of plant-biotic interactions has unravelled important immunity mechanisms which restrict microbial invasion. Conceptually, successful pathogens and symbiotic plant colonising microbes suppress immunity. They also exploit or benefit from additional host mechanisms for their entry and establishment. Remarkable examples for broad host microbes are Phytophthora palmivora oomycetes which can infect hundreds of host species and diverse organs and tissues. Arbuscular Mycorrhiza fungi such as Rhizophagus irregularis establish symbiotic interactions with the majority of all land plants and species of Rhizobacteria can form a nitrogen fixing nodule symbiosis in most legumes.
By utilising these microbes and their interactions with legumes, tobacco, barley and Arabidopsis we aim to discover, understand and modulate general plant mechanisms for microbial colonisation.
Time-resolved dual transcriptomics of P. palmivora and R. irregularis root colonisation has helped us to identify colonisation-relevant induced microbial effector proteins as well as early induced plant genes involved in microbial sensing and signalling. Furthermore, we identified and characterised a conserved eukaryotic protein which impacts on microbial entry by altering biochemical and physical properties of the plant cell wall. These findings add to our understanding of common and specific plant colonisation mechanisms and may provide alternative strategies for quantitative plant disease resistance.