PhD Effector gene persistence in bacterial plant pathogens
This project will build on our previous work studying the evolution of pathogenicity of the plant pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (Pph). We have shown that under the stress of encountering effector-triggered immunity in a resistant plant strain Pph 1302A excises a genomic island PPHGI-1, and with it an effector gene (avrPphB), which allows Pph to evade host recognition and cause disease. We will expand this previous work to investigate how Pph is transmitted within the plant and how this affects evolution of resistance and we will expand the study to investigate other P. syringae plant pathogens and how they overcome host resistance via genomic changes.