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How does a virulent fungal pathogen overcome the immune responses in acompatible plant-pathogen interaction?

English title * /*** How does a virulent fungal pathogen overcome the immune responses in acompatible plant-pathogen interaction?
Applicant Métraux Jean-Pierre
Number 125370
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Département de Biologie Faculté des Sciences Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Botany
Start/End 01.05.2009 - 30.04.2012
Approved amount 755'195.00
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Keywords (8)

Botrytis cinerea; suppression; innate immunity; compatibility; fungal plant pathogen; disease suppression; disease resistance mechanisms; plant immune response

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Our general question in this proposal is to understand how a virulent pathogen can cause disease. The development of a virulent pathogen can take place despite potential defense mechanisms of the host. Plants are well prepared against pathogens by preformed barriers and induced defense mechanisms referred to as innate immunity. These mechanisms mainly involve production of antimicrobial metabolites or proteins, histological barriers or the induction of cell death that stops the progression of the pathogen. Avoidance or tolerance of certain antimicrobial defenses are well documented mechanisms characterizing virulent pathogens. Interestingly, renewed interest in this problem has generated novel and exciting experimental demonstrations that virulent pathogens produce effectors to overcome innate immunity and target various cellular processes in the host. Effectors and their host targets were mostly studied on specialized interactions of plants with prokaryotic and oomycete pathogens. In contrast, our knowledge of possible modifications of the host responses by virulent fungal pathogens with a large host range (generalists) is scarce and raises the question how such virulent fungal pathogens can colonize successfully their hosts. Botrytis cinerea is a necrotizing fungal pathogen on a wide number of species, responsible for considerable crop losses in flowers, fruits and vegetables. This well-described pathogen causes distinct symptoms on the genetic system Arabidopsis thaliana thus offering an attractive possibility to study the molecular basis of the compatible interaction between B. cinerea and A. thaliana.The specific aims of this research proposal are:•identify effectors of B. cinerea that interfere with host reactions and allow a compatible interaction•characterize the action of such effectors on the physiology and metabolism of the hostResults of this study will provide a novel insight and a conceptual basis to understand the compatible interaction between a non-specialized fungal pathogen and its host. They will also further our knowledge on critical elements that are required for a host to develop resistance to this type of pathogen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
141176 How does a virulent fungal pathogen overcome the immune responses in a compatible plant-pathogen interaction? 01.05.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
104224 Constitutive and innate plant immunity 01.05.2004 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Our general question in this proposal is to understand how a virulent pathogen can cause disease. The development of a virulent pathogen can take place despite potential defense mechanisms of the host. Plants are well prepared against pathogens by preformed barriers and induced defense mechanisms referred to as innate immunity. These mechanisms mainly involve production of antimicrobial metabolites or proteins, histological barriers or the induction of cell death that stops the progression of the pathogen.Avoidance or tolerance of certain antimicrobial defenses are well documented mechanisms characterizing virulent pathogens. Interestingly, renewed interest in this problem has generated novel and exciting experimental demonstrations that virulent pathogens produce effectors to overcome innate immunity and target various cellular processes in the host. Effectors and their host targets were mostly studied on specialized interactions of plants with prokaryotic and oomycete pathogens. In contrast, our knowledge of possible modifications of the host responses by virulent fungal pathogens with a large host range (generalists) is scarce and raises the question how such virulent fungal pathogens can colonize successfully their hosts. Botrytis cinerea is a necrotizing fungal pathogen on a wide number of species, responsible for considerable crop losses in flowers, fruits and vegetables. This well-described pathogen causes distinct symptoms on the genetic system Arabidopsis thaliana thus offering an attractive possibility to study the molecular basis of the compatible interaction between B. cinerea and A. thaliana.The specific aims of this research proposal are:•identify effectors of B. cinerea that interfere with host reactions and allow a compatible interaction•characterize the action of such effectors on the physiology and metabolism of the hostResults of this study will provide a novel insight and a conceptual basis to understand the compatible interaction between a non-specialized fungal pathogen and its host. They will also further our knowledge on critical elements that are required for a host to develop resistance to this type of pathogen.
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