Characterizing molecular mechanisms of soybean resistance to pathogens

Project

In collaboration with experimental scientists, our computational methods are often applied to study specific biological systems, characterizing specific diseases in human, animals, and plants. One such application is studying plant-nematode interactions to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the damage caused by these plant parasites and discover new ways of plant resistance. Recently, we have structurally characterized a homodimeric complex of a novel protein SHMT related to nematode resistance in soybeans. The structure-guided functional characterization of natural mutations in the protein has provided insights to the molecular mechanisms behind the resistance. This is an ongoing collaboration with experimental labs of Melissa Mitchum at the University of Missouri and Khalid Meksem at Southern Illinois University.