Genetic diversity within the basidiomycete yeast Dioszegia modulates reproductive fitness of the obligate pathogen Albugo laibachii on Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants, like animals, are no longer defined as individuals without considering their associated microbial communities, or microbiomes. However, the extent to which plant microbiomes influence pathogen threats is still largely understudied. Obligate plant pathogens depend on living hosts to complete their lifecycle and are responsible for the majority of crop yield losses. Previous research has shown that plants infected by obligate pathogens have altered microbiomes, which suggests that interactions between the pathogen and other microbes in the plant microbiome play a role in the infection. A04 project aims to investigate the genetic diversity within the plant colonizing basidiomycete yeast genus Dioszegia and its role in modulating the colonization efficiency of the white rust causing agent Albugo laibachii on Arabidopsis thaliana. By analyzing the genomes and transcriptomes of the yeasts, the pathogen, and the host plant, relevant genes that impact host colonization efficiency in this tripartite interaction will be identified.
The project also seeks to apply the acquired knowledge to different crop pathogens, particularly rust fungi, to gain insights into the specificity and mechanisms of ubiquitous leaf-associated basidiomycete yeasts and their role in promoting pathogenicity within the plant holobiont.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Eric Kemen, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen, University of Tuebingen