Plant immunity: from inter-leaf communication to suppression of bacterial biofilm-like aggregate formation

Professor Robin Cameron
McMaster University
Friday, February 8, 2019 - 11:00am
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
Departmental Seminar
Plants rely on innate immunity to perceive and respond to pathogenic microbes. Although plants do not possess moving immune cells, they have the ability to alert systemic tissues to ongoing localized infections. In the Cameron lab we are interested in understanding systemic and developmental resistance in plants with the long-tem goal of enhancing disease resistance in crop plants. Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) allows a plant to perceive an initial infection in one leaf and transmit a signal to inform systemic leaves about the pathogen threat. We use Arabidopsis, cucumber and tomato to understand how SAR long-distance signals move from initially infected leaves to distant healthy leaves. Our interests also include defense mechanisms or how plants reduce pathogen growth and reproduction during a successful defense response. Our recent in vivo studies indicate that the immune signaling phytohormone, salicylic acid (SA), also acts as an anti-microbial and anti-biofilm agent to contribute to the suppression of pathogen growth during plant defense.
Professor Daphne Goring
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology