Genetics of Plant-Pathogen Interactions

Genetics of Plant-Pathogen Interactions

Plants and pathogens display a complex set of interactions that can range from symbiosis to disease. The outcome of interactions between plants and microbes is dependent on initial sensing of the other organism via exchange of molecular signals, and a subsequent cascade of signaling and modified gene expression in both organisms. Genetics Faculty at MSU conduct research into the mechanism of signaling between plants and microbes, and the genetic basis for host specificity. Specific questions involve investigations into how microbes influence gene expression in plants, what is the basis for disease resistance vs. susceptibility, and the factors determining pathogen virulence and host defense. The pathogens being studied include viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Plant hosts range from model species (e.g, Arabidopsis), to crop plants, to trees. Studies of host-pathogen interactions have provided novel insights into fundamental host processes, examining questions of co-evolution, and addressing factors influencing crop productivity.

Martin Chilvers
Martin Chilvers

Fungal and oomycete biology and genetics; fungal population genetics; evolution of fungal mating type genes; host-pathogen interactions.

Brad Day
Brad Day

Determining the genetic relationship between host range specificity and the activation of resistance responses in plants following pathogen perception; bacterial effector protein perception, activation of signaling responses in plants, initiation of disease/resistance programming in Arabidopsis thaliana

Rebecca Grumet
Rebecca Grumet

Molecular genetics of virus-host interactions

Sheng Yang He
Sheng Yang He

Molecular genetics of plant-pathogen interactions

Monique Sakalidis
Monique Sakalidis

(Forest Pathology), Research focuses on the use of genomic tools in conjunction with traditional pathology tools to mitigate and respond to forest tree diseases (detection, identification, pathogenicity and population analysis), emerging endemic and exotic invasive pathogens. sakalidi@msu.edu

George W. Sundin
George W. Sundin

Molecular genetics of plant-bacterial interactions

Frances Trail
Frances Trail

Developmental genetics and physiology of fungal plant pathogen

Jonathan Walton
Jonathan Walton

Enzymes for biomass conversion; molecular genetics of fungal natural products