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Special seminar - Christina Straub: Ecological genetics of resident Pseudomonas syringae on kiwifruit

  • Date: Aug 9, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 - 13:00
  • Speaker: Christina Straub, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Paul Rainey

Abstract

Plant leaves are densely occupied by a diverse range of microorganisms. The aggregation of bacteria in particular hot spots on leaves greatly facilitates intra- and interspecific interactions, which can have effects on population structure and the infection processes.

Pseudomonas syringae, a ubiquitous plant pathogen, infects a variety of plant hosts. During an outbreak of bleeding canker disease on kiwifruit caused by P. syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) in New Zealand, we investigated the population structure and genetic diversity of a broad range of co-occurring P. syringae isolated from infected and uninfected kiwifruit plants. After recovering a novel clade of P. syringae (Phylogroup 3a), which was found to be associated with kiwifruit on a global scale, we performed a variety of competition experiments to unravel the interaction dynamics between co-occurring isolates and the pathogen Psa. Since the presence of the commensal isolate inhibited the growth of Psa, we subsequently used a comparative genomics approach to explore the potential role of these strains in the evolution of virulence, along with pathogenicity assays on different cultivars of kiwifruit.

This talk will be the culmination of five years of research on the ecological genetics of P. syringae on kiwifruit.

 
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