Dr GRAEME KETTLES
Molecular Plant Pathologist
Biointeractions and Crop Protection
Graeme is interested in the interaction between wheat and the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici, one of the major pathogen threats to cultivated wheat in the UK. Specifically, he studies the role that fungal effector proteins have in manipulating or overcoming the plant immune system to allow disease progression. To study the role these proteins play, a wide variety of molecular biology techniques are employed. This includes expression of recombinant fungal proteins in heterologous systems (such as E. coli, P. pastoris and cell-free systems), expression analysis of both plant and fungal genes during infection and transient expression assays in model plants such as the tobacco Nicotiana benthamiana. This work also involves bioinformatic analysis of RNAseq datasets and the use of confocal fluorescence microscopy to visualise fungal growth on the leaf surface. More recently, Graeme has been exploring the role of fungal secreted toxins in the interaction between Zymoseptoria and other microorganisms.
- Identifying cell death-inducing effectors and host targets in the interaction of wheat leaves with the fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici