Cysteine proteases and their inhibitors in microbe-maize root interactions
Plants interact with a broad range of microbes in their environment which can lead to beneficial symbiosis or to pathogen attack. During plant-pathogen interactions plant Papain-like cysteine proteases (PLCPs) play a crucial role in microbe perception and initiation of immune responses. On the other side they are targets of microbe effector molecules which alter or inhibit the function of these proteases. We propose that the modulation of PLCPs displays a conserved mechanism in plant-microbe interactions. The aim of this project is to focus on root endophytic microbes and the inhibition and modulation of plant defense reactions through small microbial effector proteins.