Ustilago maydis is a biotrophic fungal pathogen, which causes smut disease in all aerial parts of maize plants. Tumorigenesis is the most typical and most easily recognized symptom of this disease
The cellular cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure that involves a variety of cell biological processes, including cell division, endocytosis, vesicle trafficking, signal transport, cell shaping, polarity growth, and tissue differentiation, which are associated with plant development and immunity. The tumor-inducing ability of U. maydis coincides with dramatic changes in the host cell structure. We hypothesize that triggering of these dramatic cellular changes depends on the activity of effector molecules which are secreted by the pathogen and directly target core components of the plant’s cellular machinery.
My PhD project aims to identify and functionally analyze U. maydis effectors that are involved in the cytoskeleton rearrangement of maize.
University of Cologne
CEPLAS / Institute of Botany
Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology
Zülpicher Straße 47a
Tel: +49 221-470-7407