Seminar of the Department of Microbiology

Understanding a very unique plant pathogen, one effector at a time


Edel Pérez López - Associated Professor - Departement of Phytology, Université Laval - Québec, Canada

11.05.2023, 16:00 - Online

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  • or in the Seminarraum Mikrobiologie (Bauteil V) for a public projection


Plasmodiophora brassicae is the causal agent of clubroot, a devastating disease affecting cruciferous crops worldwide and responsible for more than $500 million in loss for the canola industry in Canada in the last ten years. Although several breakthroughs have happened recently, clubroot research is at least a decade behind and our understanding of the molecular strategies used by the clubroot pathogen to escape plant immunity is mostly unknown. Since 2020 our lab is focusing on that through the functional characterization of putative effectors and their role in the plant. Among the results generated in these three years, we will present in this concurrent session the story behind three main findings: (i) the characterization of SSPbP53, a cysteine protein inhibitor that seems to be key for the clubroot pathogen pathogenicity, (ii) the characterization of PbChiB2 and PbChiB4, two chitin-binding proteins that stop chitin-triggered immunity during the clubroot pathogen infection, and (iii) the characterization of  PbPK1, a pseudo-kinase that induce tolerance to the clubroot pathogen. Altogether, the new mechanisms presented here are advancing our understanding of a less typical vascular pathogen putting at risk the economy of several countries and our food security.

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