Research of the Laboratory of Phytopathology

The Laboratory of Phytopathology studies the biology of fungi, Oomycetes and bacteria, with the aim to understand and predict their functioning in agricultural and natural ecosystems. We accomplish this by hypothesis-driven research on the molecular and genetic interactions between plants, pathogens and their environment, including the microbiome and by studying populations.

Our research topics

We gain fundamental knowledge by the identification of secreted proteins (effectors) and their role in suppressing and activating the immune systems of plants. The primary objective is to understand the molecular dialogue between host and pathogen.  

Another important research theme is to understand how plants recognise (receptors) and resist pathogens. In addition to fungal research, plant pathogens from the Oomycetes kingdom may appear similar, but are biologically so distinct that they require their own research approach.  

On a different scale, from a population genomics point of view, we study how ecological and evolutionary processes interactively result in disease outbreaks. Finally, we work on the translation of our knowledge to practical applications that can be employed by farmers and food producers.