Plant diseases caused by pathogenic fungi critically affect global food security and plant ecology. How plants defend themselves against pathogenic invaders and the molecular weaponry involved is still far from being complete. Kiwellin proteins (KWL) represent an emerging class of highly diverse proteins with antibody-like properties serving as countermeasures of plants against virulence factors secreted by pathogenic fungi. The aim of this ERC-project is to establish the functional, structural and mechanistic basis enabling this fundamentally new class of proteins in the defense against their pathogenic invaders. Thus, this ERC-proposal might not only offer new perspectives for a future plant engineering (e.g. towards resistance), but also provides a deeper fundamental understanding into the molecular mechanisms, underlying the everlasting arms race between plants and their pathogenic invaders.
Fields of science
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