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Namarta Chatar Singh


Central for virulence of many microbial pathogens are effector proteins, which allow the microbes to evade recognition by the host immune system and ultimately to cause disease. One of the largest groups of plant pathogenic microbes are the smut fungi, which include the maize

pathogens Ustilago maydis (maize common smut) and Sporisorium reilianum (maize head smut). The availability of established genomic resources and efficient tools for reverse genetics make them preferable models to study the evolutionary trajectory of effectors, as well as their role in virulence and speciation.

My aim is to understand the unique ability of U. maydis in causing tumor formation in leaf and inflorescence contrary to its close relative S. reilianum.  I will identify and functionally characterize effector orthologs from both fungi using various functional genomics tools including CRISPR-Cas9. Goal of this approach is to identify effectors that potentially underwent neofunctionalization, driving pathogen evolution and ability for tumor formation in U. maydis.

Namarta Chatar Singh

University of Cologne

Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology
Zülpicher Straße 47a
D-50674 Cologne

Tel:  +49 221-470-1960
Fax: +49 221-470-7406