Functional characterization of cyst and root-knot nematode effector genes

Project

Plant-parasitic nematodes inject an array of effector proteins into host roots to promote the parasitic interaction.  These effectors are expressed specifically in the nematode’s esophageal gland cells. While it now appears that these effectors contribute to disease, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We are interested in elucidating the molecular mechanism through which these effectors suppress plant defense responses and modulate other cellular processes and molecular functions in order to initiate and maintain functional feeding sites.