Novel temperature sensing mechanisms that modulate disease
December 19, 2013 12:13: pm | by Matthew Hills
Vinod Kumar (JIC), Alastair Grant (UEA)
Climate change, most importantly increasing global temperatures associated with it poses a severe threat to global agriculture and biodiversity. The average growing season temperatures is expected to exceed historical extremes by the end of 21st century. Elevated temperatures cause increased susceptibility to pathogens resulting in increased severity and extended ranges of crop diseases. Though known since long, the phenomenon of temperature induced disease susceptibility is not sufficiently well understood at the molecular level. Understanding how plants sense and integrate temperature signals into modulate defence responses is of great significance both fundamentally as well as for developing climate resilient crops.
What is the molecular nature of the thermosensory machinery that modulates immunity?
We are using a genetic approach to dissect the thermosensory mechanism that modulates defence responses. A large number of resilient (res) mutants have been isolated from a large-scale forward genetic screen. The project will characterise the mutants characterised for their temperature response and defence phenotypes. We will generate mapping populations for the selected mutants, which could be further used for mapping with next-generation sequencing. Identification of temperature sensing mechanisms in these mutants will help answer fundamental biological questions of environmental adaptation and trade-offs between growth and defence.