The research goal in our team is to understand how plant activate and regulate their immune responses towards bacterial pathogens, and how does the environmental conditions modulate plant immunity.
Using a pathosystem involving the root bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in interaction with the model species Arabidopsis thaliana, we recently described an exquisite immune receptor decoy mechanism that converts a potent bacterial virulence activity into defense gene activation (collaboration with J. E. Parker’s group). We are utilizing genetics, biochemical, and microscopy confocal approaches to investigate:
(i) the mode of action of bacterial effectors that target host epigenetic machinery to dampen immunity,
(ii) the mechanisms by which DNA-bound immune receptors connect functionally to the chromatin environment and transcriptional machinery for cellular defence reprogramming,
(iii) new resistance mechanisms remaining efficient under permanent temperature rises.