"How plant transport proteins convey pathogen susceptibility"

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Wednesday 14 November 2018, 14:00 - 15:30


We only partially understand how assimilates are translocated from leaves into seeds. We identified transporters for cellular uptake and efflux of sugars (SUTs and the SWEETs). We found that 3 SWEET13 paralogs play critical roles in phloem loading in maize, and identified SWEET4c as a hexose transporter in the basal endosperm transfer cell layer of maize kernels. We identified SWEET11 and 15 as key transporters during seed filling in rice. We try to establish the complete path of sugars from the site of synthesis to the ultimate storage site. We develop fluorescent biosensors for sugars and transporter activity and are exploring the regulation of the transport processes. Surprisingly, SWEETs function as pathogen susceptibility factors. Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae which causes leaf blight in rice uses TAL effectors to ectopically induce expression of SWEET genes. If SWEET gene induction is blocked by genome editing of effector binding sites, the resulting plants are resistant. We now explore the disease mechanism.

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Prof Wolf Frommer
Institute for Molecular Physiology
Heinrich Heine University
Institute for Transformative Biomolecules ITbM