Pathogen specificity

Phytophthora kernoviae in Pinus radiata. Lloyd Donaldson
Theme Leader: 

We are exploring epidemics of plant diseases and researching how plant defences can be manipulated to protect against such outbreaks.

We will use molecular approaches to uncover how bacterial plant diseases can evolve to produce devastating epidemics. In association with this, we will explore the essential elements of plant defence mechanisms that can be manipulated to protect against such outbreaks.

This Theme addresses two questions:

  1. What are the mechanisms that drive the dynamism of pathogen genomes and lead to the evolution of devastating epidemics?
  2. What are the essential elements of the plant defence repertoire that can be engineered to protect against such epidemics?

Our research will also enhance knowledge of microbe-plant interactions by examining the molecular processes that allow symbiotic fungal endophytes to overcome plant defences and trigger plant phytohormone signalling.

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