Unravelling the nuclear function and import mechanism of the plant immune receptor Rx
Rx from potato mediates extreme resistance to Potato Virus X (PVX). Due to the lack of a signal peptide, this resistance protein was predicted to localize to the cytoplasm. However, it has been discovered that it localizes not only to the cytoplasm, but also to the nucleus. Similar immune receptors have now also been found in the nucleus. Our research aims to understand the role that immune receptors play in the nucleus and how they can be imported there without carrying a nuclear targeting signal.
Characterization of NRC1, a key protein required for defence signalling downstream of multiple resistance proteins
NRC1 expression is up-regulated upon infection with the fungus C. fulvum. Currently we are studying the composition of the NRC1 complex in order to understand the signal transduction pathway triggered by NRC1, leading to a defence response.
Functional analysis of phospholipid signalling genes to investigate their role in plant disease resistance
This line of research focuses on the enzymes that are responsible for the rapid modification of specific phospholipid signalling molecules in tomato and Nicotiana benthamiana upon pathogen challenge.
How do extracellular immune receptors detect virulence proteins from C. fulvum and subsequently activate the defence response?
We focus on elucidating the perception mechanisms of virulence proteins such as Avr4, by extracellular receptors.