Rust and smut fungi (Basidiomycetes) are the most devastating fungal plant pathogens that infect many agricultural important crops. Both smut and rust are biotrophs that form intimate associations with their hosts for nutrient acquisition and completion of life cycle. Unlike smuts, rust fungi are obligate biotrophs that fully depend on their host for growth and the completion of their life cycle. So far rust fungi could not be sustainably grown in vitro, rendering many traditional approaches for effector analysis unavailable.
My project aims to use the well-studied smut pathogens Ustilago maydis as a surrogate system to study rust effectors. Specifically, I want to characterise homologue effectors of the maize rust fungi Puccinia sorghi in U. maydis.
University of Cologne
CEPLAS / Institute of Botany Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology
Zülpicher Straße 47a
Tel: +49 221-470-7831
Fax: +49 221-470-7406