Unravelling Pathogen Virulence Strategies through the Application of Transcriptomics and Real-time Imaging

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October 24, 2013

Understanding plant pathogen virulence mechanisms provides the opportunity to deploy targeted intervention strategies. Successful pathogens deploy a collection of “effector” molecules to attenuate plant defense surveillance systems. Virulent Pseudomonas syringae establishes disease in Arabidopsis thaliana through the collective activities of a suite of ~ 30 effector proteins delivered into the plant cell. An emerging paradigm is that effectors hijack plant hormonal signalling to promote disease. Using a combination of time resolved transcriptomics, reverse genetics and real time imaging combined with network inference we are beginning to understand how P. syringae modulates jasmonate and ABA signaling. Surprisingly these studies reveal that bacterial effectors rapidly target the chloroplast, the site of hormone biosynthesis, as a key virulence strategy.

Flow Chemistry

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