Laboratory of Plant Pathogenesis

Head:

Prof. Jacek Hennig Ph.D.

Focus:

Projects in the group are aimed at unraveling disease resistance signaling pathways in the Solanaceae family and Arabidopsis thaliana plants. The interaction of potato and Arabidopsis with their pathogens Potato Virus Y (PVY) and Pseudomonas syringae, respectively, are the two principal (but not exclusive) model systems used. Our main goal is to decipher the signal transduction pathway(s) that leads to induction of plant defenses. Some of these pathways are induced by specific recognition between plant Resistance (R) gene and pathogen avirulence (avr) gene-encoded products. Others appear to operate as a more general resistance to non-host pathogens as well as to abiotic stimuli. Hypersensitive resistance (HR) is an efficient defense strategy in plants that restricts pathogen growth and can be activated during host as well as nonhost interactions. HR involves programmed cell death and manifests itself in tissue collapse at the site of pathogen attack. To study these problems we are using combination of genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches.