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Dr. Weiliang Zuo

Ustilago maydis and Sporisorium reilianum are two closely related smut fungi that infect maize but cause different phenotype. U. maydis induces tumors in all aerial organs in maize while S. reilianum only causes symptoms in flowers. Genomic comparison has revealed a high level of synteny between these two pathogens. My study aims to find the causative effectors that relate to the difference symptoms (especially those related to the tumor formation) and elucidate how these effector homologs determine pathogen lifestyle during evolution. To this end, I will use comparative transcriptional and functional analyses to investigate of the roles effector homologs between these two pathogens, in particular during leaf infection.

Dr. Weiliang Zuo

University of Cologne

CEPLAS / Institiute for Plant Sciences
Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology
Zülpicher Straße 47a
D-50674 Cologne

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