"The cell wall is a dynamic extracellular compartment protecting the cell, providing rigidity, and playing an essential role in the uptake of molecules and signalling. In pathogenic organisms, the cell wall is at the forefront of disease, providing contact between the pathogen and host. Oomycetes are Eukaryotic microbes that superficially resemble fungi, but are genetically dissimilar. They cause many serious diseases, including potato late blight and the devastating fish disease, Saprolegniosis. Diseases such as these are global threats to food security. Understanding pathogenicity in these organisms is therefore crucial. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this research programme seeks to understand the role of the cell wall in oomycete disease, both as a communication centre with the host organism and as a compartment that is continually reshaped and strengthened throughout the lifecycle, to penetrate and colonise the host. Understanding these mechanisms in more detail will pave the way for better control of oomycete diseases. The expected outputs of the project are:
1) An understanding of how the cell wall is synthesised in the crop pathogen Phytophthora infestans and how this may be utilised for the development of new, targeted, control measures.
2) Identification of the roles of individual cell wall biosynthetic enzymes in pathogenicity.
3) An understanding of how changes in the structure of the cell wall contribute to pathogenicity and of the dynamic interactions that occur between components of the cell wall.
4) Publications in high impact journals and presentations at major international meetings.
5) Novel targets for the future development of targeted disease control.
6) The basis of a platform on which the applicant can capitalise her current expertise by acquiring complementary training to build an internationally recognised and highly competitive research group studying cell wall biology in oomycete pathogenicity."
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call