Elucidation of β-glucan perception in plants
Plants establish close relationships with a wide variety of microorganisms. While most of these associations are mutualistic, colonization by some microbes may be harmful to the plant host. In order to differentiate between beneficial and potentially harmful invaders, plants constantly survey their environment via cell surface-localized receptor molecules that recognize microbe-derived or modified-self ligands and initiate downstream signaling responses.
Chitin and β-glucans are the main structural components of fungal cell walls and are well known triggers of immune responses in plants. While the mechanisms underlying chitin recognition have been described for several plant species, little is known about the perception of β-glucans. This project is aimed at the identification of the β-glucan perception machinery, and the detailed characterization of β-glucan-triggered immune responses in both monocot and dicot plant species.
Keywords expertise: plant-microbe interactions, effector biology, plant pathology, proteomics, biochemistry, molecular genetics, fungi