Verticillium pathogenicity

Recently, the draft genome sequences of V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum have been released. With bioinformatics tools we are querying these genomes for potential pathogenicity and virulence factors. In addition, we have recently sequenced a small population of Verticillium strains in order to perform population genetics.

Also in this research line, gene functional analysis is performed. Candidate genes that result from the bioinformatic analyses are targeted for deletion and the pathogenicity of the knock-out lines is investigated. In addition, random mutagenesis is performed to identify novel pathogenicity components.

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation was used to generate a green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing V. dahliae strain (left) that was used to demonstrate that V. dahliae colonizes the vascular tissues of Arabidopsis plants (right).