Start Date: Sep 17, 2011
End Date: Sep 16, 2015
This study will focus initially on understanding the specific interactions between Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), particularly those involving pathogen effector proteins and plant immunity-associated kinases. A wide variety of methodologies will be used to dissect the plant-microbe interaction, and new strategies will be developed as required. On the microbial side, the range of possible techniques include the generation, selection and screening of mutants under various conditions, the creation of targeted mutants using molecular methods, and the construction of strains that over-express genes of interest. On the plant side, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), protein microarrays, and yeast two-hybrid assays will be used to determine which kinases are involved in the immune response and which microbial proteins target these kinases to compromise immunity. Computational methods will be used to determine effector suites in sequenced strains of P. syringae and to develop network models of the interaction between these suites, the tomato kinases and other plant genes targeted by bacterial effectors.