Dr. Lionel Moulin is an IRD researcher from the UMR IPME (Interactions Plant-Microbes-Environment) in Montpellier, France, where he is leading a group (ABIP, for Adaptation of Burkholderia to Interactions with Plants). He is a microbial ecologist interested in cereal-bacterial interactions. He is working on the frontiers between mutualism and pathogenicity in different species of Burkholderia interating with rice, being phytobeneficial as root endophytes (as B. vietnamensis), or phytopathogens (as panicle blight disease, caused by B. glumae). Dr Moulin is visiting the LMI RICE to develop collaborations on rice interacting Burkholderia species.
Dr. Szurek Boris, UMR IPME, Montpellier (France) will be sharing with the audience the second topic presented in the same workshop, “Pathogen-informed strategies for sustainable resistance in crops: what can we learn from Xanthomonas TAL effectors?“.
Dr. Boris Szurek is an IRD researcher at UMR IPME, working in a group dedicated to studies on plant pathogenic bacteria (GTIPP, for Genomics & Transcriptomics of Plant-Procaryotes Interactions). Boris is working on rice- and cassava-infecting xanthomonads, studying host genes acting as susceptibility (S) and resistance (R) determinants. On the pathogen side, he studies the role of Transcription activator-like (TAL) type III effectors which are injected by Xanthomonas into the host cell to reprogram the host transcriptome. This knowledge can be applied to develop pathogen-informed strategies for locally-adaped sustainable crop resistance, based on the exploitation of the host natural diversity and genome-editing strategies. Dr Szurek is visiting AGI to develop partnership on Xanthomonas-host interactions.
Abstract: Xanthomonas pathogenic bacteria rely on type-III secreted virulence factors of the Transcription Activator-Like (TAL) effector family to establish disease in important crops such as rice, cassava, citrus and others. TAL effectors are bona fide plant transcription factors able to reprogram the host transcriptome to the benefit of the bacterium, though the induction of so-called (S) susceptibility genes, i.e. genes that are essential for disease development. I will present how this basic knowledge can be used to devise novel disease control strategies based on disarming the pathogen in both rice- and cassava-Xanthomonas pathosystems.