Epigenetic control of plant-nematode interaction


Recent discoveries from my lab indicate that epigenetic modifications, biochemical modifications of DNA and associated proteins, play key roles in shaping the compatibility of the interactions between host plants and plant-parasitic nematodes. My team is currently investigating genome-wide epigenetic modifications that are associated with infection by cyst and root-knot nematodes in a number of model and crop plant species. Simultaneous profiling of genome-wide DNA methylation patterns and histone modifications combined with mRNA and small RNA transcriptomes will lead to the discovery of new mechanisms of nematode parasitism that link epigenetic modifications to re-programing and differentiation of infected root cells into permanent multinucleated feeding structure.