Improving food security by reducing loss to plant pathogens

Plant diseases cause substantial global crop losses. Many prolific agricultural pathogens enter plants through microscopic pores in the leaf surface used by the plant to breathe, known as stomata.

In this project, plants that have been engineered to have more, or fewer stomata will be used to help us understand the relationship between the number of stomata a plant has, and how susceptible it is to disease and infestation by pathogens.

Results will be transferred from model plant species to crop by studying Arabidopsis and tomato species. This knowledge will allow us to create more disease tolerant crops.

Chris Dutton

Supervisor

Professor Julie Gray

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Co-Supervisors

Professor Jurriaan Ton

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences