Skip to main content

Signaling circuitry controlling fungal virulence: identification and characterization of conserved and specific fungal virulence genes as common antifungal targets

Objective

Fungi are heterotrophic microorganisms with devastating impact on agriculture and human health. Agricultural production worth billions of € is destroyed annually by fungal diseases. Human fungal infections have severe consequences on the growing number of immuno-compromised patients, with high mortality rates associated with Aspergillus and Candida infections. There is a critical need to further the development of new antifungals, which requires a comprehensive molecular knowledge on fungal pathogenesis and signal transduction. ARIADNE uses a comparative biological approach at the systems biology level to identify and validate signalling target genes that play an essential causative role in fungal virulence on both plant and human hosts. To establish a comprehensive view of fungal pathogenesis seven pathogenic species will be studied, including the two major fungal pathogens of humans Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans, the devastating plant pathogens Fusarium oxysporum, Magnaporthe grisea and Mycospherella graminicola, as well as two established model pathogens of filamentous and dimorphic fungi, Ashbya gossypii and Ustilago maydis. This array of fungal species cuts across diverse taxonomic groups, covering several hundred million years of evolution. The central scientific and technological challenges for ARIADNE are to 1) integrate parallel transcriptomics, proteomics, and chemical genetics for a comprehensive set of major fungal pathogens, 2) identify evolutionarily conserved and species specific signalling effectors which act as key players in fungal virulence, 3) validate these proteins as candidate targets for small molecule inhibitors. This groundbreaking scientific and teaching approach will open up new avenues on how to look at fungal pathogenicity and will generate an unprecedented knowledge platform, which will facilitate the discovery and validation of antifungal targets in both the agricultural and the pharmaceutical sectors.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology/ethnomycology
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/mortality
  • /social sciences/educational sciences/pedagogy/teaching
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/proteomics

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-ITN - Networks for Initial Training (ITN)

Coordinator

CARLSBERG AS
Address
Ny Carlsberg Vej 100
1799 Kobenhavn
Denmark
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 678 224
Administrative Contact
Juergen Wendland (Prof.)

Participants (8)

UNIVERSIDAD DE CORDOBA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 391 620
Address
Avenida De Medina Azahara 5
14005 Cordoba
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Antonio Di Pietro (Prof.)
THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 413 704
Address
King's College Regent Walk
AB24 3FX Aberdeen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Helena Rogers (Dr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 226 388
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Enda Clarke (Dr.)
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 392 208
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Regine Kahmann (Prof.)
LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR NATURSTOFF-FORSCHUNG UND INFEKTIONSBIOLOGIE EV HANS-KNOLL-ISTITUT
Germany
EU contribution
€ 214 531
Address
Beutenberg Strasse 11A
07745 Jena
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Michael Ramm (Dr.)
AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 189 129
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Carlos Manuel Abad Ruiz (Mr.)
BAYER CROPSCIENCE SA
France
EU contribution
€ 201 552
Address
Rue Jean Marie Leclair 16
69009 Lyon
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Eva Franken (Dr.)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE POUR L'AGRICULTURE, L'ALIMENTATION ET L'ENVIRONNEMENT
France
EU contribution
€ 201 552
Address
Rue De L'universite 147
75338 Paris Cedex 07
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Marie-Claude Paulien (Ms.)