606: Signalling networks underlying plant defence responses

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Warwick HRI


The overall aim of this research is to identify key signaling components activated during Botrytis cinerea infection and to determine how these components interact to mediate plant defence responses. We also want to investigate how this defence signalling is integrated with other signaling networks such as that regulating senescence, and how specificity in terms of end responses is achieved. We are using transcriptome profiling to highlight potential regulatory genes, which are assessed using transgenic knockout or overexpressing lines. The role of regulatory genes affecting the host susceptiblity to this pathogen are investigated further using a variety of functional genomics techniques.


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Description The key outputs of this grant were time series gene expression profiles of plants after infection with a fungal pathogen or during natural senescence. We also developed computational tools to analyse this data to determine the key genes influencing disease resistance and senescence. These findings were crucial in obtaining further funding (the PRESTA systems biology) grant which extended this work to other pathogens and abiotic stresses drought and high light. Eventually work initiated during this award is being used to speed up breeding of beneficial traits in crops.
Exploitation Route The times series data sets are publicly available for other people to analyse and look at expression profiles of any plant gene. The tools developed during this award (and the related PRESTA project) are freely available for others to use. We have identified candidate regulators of the plant defence response and senescence
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/lifesci/research/presta/data/
Description BBRC GCRF IAA University of York
Amount £7,465 (GBP)
Organisation University of York 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 03/2017
Description ISCF Agri-food Technology Catalyst Seeding Award
Amount £17,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/SCA/York/17 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 02/2018
Description Global Plant Council/SEB Stress Resilience Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented talk and took part in discussions at international stress resilience forum in Iguazu Falls, Brazil. Helped write a White Paper emanating from the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
Description Plant and Animal Genomes Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk at the Plant and Animal Genomes conference in a Systems Genomics workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016