Targeting Plant Pathogens Through LPMO Gene Silencing

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology

Abstract

We develop novel highly specific crop protection against downy mildew in lettuce and spinach, and post-harvest mould in strawberry and green beans. Host penetration by pathogens typically requires enzymatic disruption of the plant cell wall with the crystalline nature of cellulose making this challenging. Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) play a key role in lysing bonds at the crystalline surfaces of polysaccharides allowing their rapid degradation. We recently identified a new family of LPMOs in plant pathogens. Members of this family are expressed during early stages of host infection suggesting they function to degrade the cell wall and enable the pathogen to penetrate the plant. Here we will identify key LPMOs required for virulence in two oomycete and one fungal pathogens. We will optimise application of RNAi for silencing these LPMO genes and preventing infection. A business plan for scale up and commercialisation of this novel approach will be developed.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Guido van der Ackerveken 
Organisation Utrecht University
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on lettuce transcriptome resources and on Peronospora effusa genomics
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on lettuce transcriptome resources and on Peronospora effusa genomics
Impact no outcomes as yet
Start Year 2019
 
Description Richard Michelmore - UC Davis 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Department UC Davis College of Biological Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are providing screening of phenotypic traits
Collaborator Contribution UC Davis have provided three mapping populations of lettuce and given us access to the latest lettuce genome sequence
Impact in progress
Start Year 2015