PECTOWARS - Pectin metil esterases to block pathogenic infection in the plant cell wall battleground
|Rossella Miele||Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca|
|Laura Vittozzi||Dottorando/Assegnista/Specializzando componente non strutturato del gruppo di ricerca|
|Maria Rosaria Fullone||Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca|
|Daniela Bellincampi||Componenti strutturati del gruppo di ricerca|
PECTOWARS will pioneer a radically new perspective on plant diseases caused by fungi, a fundamental aspect of plant biology and food safety. The plant cell wall (CW) is the foremost interface where interactions between plants and fungi take place. Fungal pathogens use CW degrading enzymes to digest plant CWs, gaining access to host tissues and causing extensive devastation. The plant pectin methylesterases (PMEs) emerge as critical factors for the outcome of plant-fungus interaction. However, the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms regulating the activity of these enzymes is limited and the exact role of PME activity and of genes underlying its regulation is poorly understood. With PECTOWARS we wish to generate a complete picture of the contribution of plant PMEs in plant immunity. We aim to understand the dynamic orchestration of genes regulating PME activity in Arabidopsis-Botrytis pathosystem using reverse genetics, fluorescent protein tagging, and biochemical approaches. I will make use of my extensive experience on the topic to develop a workflow focused on deciphering the contribution of these proteins to CW reinforcement, Methanol and Oligogalacturonide release during infection by glycomic and chromatography/mass spectrometry platforms. Through a careful combination of multidisciplinary approaches, we will provide ground-breaking evidences on plant molecular mechanisms contrasting fungal penetration and diffusion. The genetic and biochemical traits identified in the project will provide valuable information useful to develop crop varieties with a durable resistance to necrotrophs.