Biochemistry and Phytopathology, Signalling in Plants, Biosynthesis of Natural Products
Plants have evolved molecular strategies to combat microbial pathogens by mounting constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms. The induction of defence reactions requires the perception and transduction of external signals. The microbial signal (elicitor) (3) is perceived by a plant receptor (1) and subsequently transduced by a signalling cascade (2) which has been only partially explored at present and in turn regulates defence reactions (4). Our research is focused on the following objectives:
- Structure and function of a glucan receptor of soybean and related plants
- Components of signal transduction
The role of cytosolic Ca2+ and elicitor-responsive MAP kinases
- Biosynthesis of the ß-glucan elicitor from Phytophthora sojae
- Biosynthesis of natural products
Phytophthora sojae, an oomycete plant pathogen, triggers the production of isoflavonoid phytoalexins following infection of soybean. Genes of the family of 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase and cytochrome P-450, which encode enzymes of phytoalexin biosynthesis, are studied.