Biotic Stress/Applied Plant Bio

Abstract

CS-13-4 - Plant genes commonly affecting the interactions with pathogenic and symbiotic microbes

Monday, July 16
2:03 PM - 2:23 PM

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.


 

Sebastian Schornack, PhD

Research Group Leader and Royal Society UR Fellow
University of Cambridge, Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU)

Sebastian Schornack studied at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. During his Ph.D. he cloned and characterised a tomato disease resistance gene. He is a co-discoverer of the DNA binding code of TAL effectors, enabling the development of new genome editing methods. Sebastian continued his research at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK to study plant pathogenic filamentous microbes and is now a Gatsby Research Group Leader and Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU). His current research revolves around common and contrasting principles of plant colonisation by beneficial and detrimental microbes.

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