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Dr. Jasper Depotter

Smut fungi comprise a diverse group of plant pathogens with over 1200 species. In correspondence to other pathogens, smuts secrete a range of so-called effector proteins to colonize their hosts. Effector proteins enable pathogens to evade host immunity responses, but can also alter plant metabolic processes to the pathogen’s benefit. I want to characterize the effector repertoires of various smut species and classify effector genes according their conservation within smut pathogens. Conceivably, conserved effectors target conserved hubs in the plant immunity network, whereas specific effectors facilitate host-specific interactions. Based on interspecific comparisons between effector repertoires, functional effector modules will be defined to inform the de- and reconstruction of effector repertoires in smut pathogens. Furthermore, effector characterization will enable us to disarm smut pathogens in a step-wise fashion. Eventually, we will obtain a disarmed chassis strain that can be used for the characterization of effector proteins of obligate biotrophic pathogens that are not amenable to molecular tools in reverse genetics approaches

 

University of Cologne

CEPLAS / Institute of Botany
Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology
Zülpicher Straße 47a
D-50674 Cologne
Tel:  +49 221-470-1503
Fax: +49 221-470-7406
Mail: jasper.depotter@uni-koeln.de