Microbes establish complex interactions with plants that vary from beneficial to parasitic relationships. Studies in this research area are aimed at deciphering plant and microbial signals, and gene networks and molecules that regulate the interaction. Deep understanding of how plants defend themselves from pathogenic species or accommodate beneficial microbes is critical for our ability to control pathogens and prevent diseases, and for utilization of beneficial microbial agents in crop improvement.
Research at the School includes studies of the plant immune system, with particular attention to molecular components that detect pathogens or participate in immune signalling, biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens with emphasis on effectors and other virulence factors, plant microbial communities (microbiome), and development of disease resistant plants.
Potential research subjects include: plant immunity, fungal and bacterial pathogens, microbiome, isolation and analysis of disease resistance genes, and production of disease resistant plants.
Researchers in the field: