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Laboratory of Plant Pathogenesis

Head: Professor Jacek Hennig Ph.D.


Staff: Dr. Dorota Konopka-Postupolska, Dr. Magdalena Krzymowska, Dr. Małgorzata Lichocka, M.Sc. Kamil Witek
Ph.D. students: M.Sc. Fabian Giska, M.Sc. Rafał Hoser, M.Sc. Marcin Piechocki, M.Sc. Michał Szalonek, M.Sc. Karolina Woroniecka


Projects in the group are aimed at unraveling disease resistance signaling pathways in the Solanaceae family and Arabidopsis thaliana plants. The interaction of potato and Arabidopsis with their pathogens Potato Virus Y (PVY) and Pseudomonas syringae, respectively, are the two principal (but not exclusive) model systems used. Our main goal is to decipher the signal transduction pathway(s) that leads to induction of plant defenses. Some of these pathways are induced by specific recognition between plant Resistance (R) gene and pathogen avirulence (avr) gene-encoded products. Others appear to operate as a more general resistance to non-host pathogens as well as to abiotic stimuli. Hypersensitive resistance (HR) is an efficient defense strategy in plants that restricts pathogen growth and can be activated during host as well as nonhost interactions. HR involves programmed cell death and manifests itself in tissue collapse at the site of pathogen attack. To study these problems we are using combination of genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches.


[I] Comparative secretome analysis of various pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae

This project is funded by grant no. PBZ/KBN/110/P04/2004/18, “Comparative secretome analysis of various pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae in order to find virulence factors triggering plant disease resistance response or modulating its course” from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2004-2008.

[II] Phytopathological and phenotypic analysis of plants modified in protein phosphorylation pattern
This project is funded by grants no. 1618/P01/2006/31, “Phytopathological and phenotypic analysis of tobacco plants with modified protein phosphorylation pattern” from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2006-2009 and 9001/B/P01/2008/35 “Plant resistance response and developmental program- studies on distinct role of SGT1 protein in regulation of both processes” 2008-2010.

[III] Mapping and characterization of a novel elements involved in resistance of potato (Solanum tuberosum) to pathogen infection and environmental stimuli.
Project has been performed in collaboration with Plant Breeding funded by grants no. PBZ/KBN/110/P04/2004/24 “Molecular analysis of potato plant response to PVY infection”; N N302 3197 33 “Transcriptome analysis of potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.) resistant to PVYN infection” 2009-2012 and “Genomics and transgenesis of crop plants-CROPNET” 2008-2010.

Additionally to that Laboratory participates in Polish Node of Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium contract no.47/PGS/2006/01. Funded by a special grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

[IV] The role of annexins in defense response of Arabidopsis thaliana plants
This project is funded by grants no PBZ-MNiSW-2/3/2006 “Using annexins and proteins from CBP family to obtain potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.) with enhanced drought tolerance - applications in basic science and in breeding practice” 2007-2010, PBZ/MNiSW/07/2006/17 (POL POSTDOC III) “Cytoskeleton rearrangements in Arabidopsis thaliana guard cells in response to environmental stimuli” 2007-2010 from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

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