Plant pathogens

• Plant Pathogens and Infectious Diseases •

Coordinator: André Padilla

Agropolis International in Montpellier has a large range of expertise in the area of agriculture, food, environmental biology and biodiversity. The CBS teams have engaged since years collaborations with many Agropolis Teams.

- Recognition of avirulence (AVR) proteins by plant immune Receptors.

Plant resistance to microbial pathogens is a complex process relying on two major levels of resistance triggered by distinct types of plant receptors. Beside the first line of immunity, in which microbial molecules, such as bacterial flagellin or cell wall components of the pathogen are perceived, leading to plant resistance, the second layer of plant immunity relies on the recognition of certain pathogen-derived effectors by so-called plant resistance proteins (R) encoded by R genes. Effectors that are specifically recognized are called Avirulence proteins (Avr) and induce a plant Effector-Triggered Immunity. We use the rice blast model system to investigate R protein function and AVR protein recognition. Rice blast caused by the ascomycete fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is the most important rice disease wide worldwide and as such is a serious economic problem and a major threat for food security and health care linked to pesticides usage. Our collaboration (INRA Montpellier) resulted in the generation of NMR structures for the M. oryzae effectors AVR1-CO39 and AVR-Pia and the project aims at identifying the structure of R rice immune receptors.



The molecular details of R binding are elucidated In vitro and In vivo to validate structural models of Avr recognition and to investigate structure-function relations. Plant diseases are among the most important problems in agriculture and the use of disease resistance (R) genes is a key strategy for sustainable crop protection.



NMR Staff : Karine deGuillen

Coll. Thomas Kroj (INRA)