University of Dundee

CSC - The molecular cell biology of Plant-Phytophthora interactions

Phytophthora species are amongst the most devastating causes of disease on dicot plants. Chief amongst them is P. infestans, cause of late blight, the number one disease globally on potato and tomato. P. infestans is able to secrete proteins called effectors which are delivered inside living plant cells to manipulate various processes, including host immunity. Our group study the secretion, post-translational processing and delivery of so-called RXLR effectors. RXLR effectors may target host proteins to alter, promote or prevent their functions. This project can be tailored to fit the interests of the student applicant, and can focus on effector secretion, processing, delivery or function.

Recent Publications:

  • He Q, McLellan H, Hughes R, Boevink P, Armstrong M, Lu Y, Banfield M, Tian Z, Birch PRJ (2019) Phytophthora infestans RXLR effector SFI3 targets potato UBK to suppress early PAMP-triggered immune responses. New Phytologist 222:438-454; doi: 10.1111/nph.15635.

He Q, Naqvi S, McLellan H, Boevink P, Champouret N, Hein I, Birch PRJ (2018) A Phytophthora infestans

  • RXLR effector associates with host Susceptibility factor NRL1 to degrade the positive immune regulator SWAP70. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 115:E7834-E7843 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1808585115.

Wang S, Boevink P, Welsh L, Zhang R, Whisson S, Birch PRJ (2017). Delivery of Cytoplasmic and Apoplastic Effectors from Phytophthora infestans Haustoria by Distinct Secretion Pathways. New Phytologist 216:205-215.