Pathogen-informed Resistance to Oomycete diseases in Ecosystems, Agriculture and Aquaculture

    Project: EU research project

    Description

    The oomycetes are a distinct lineage of Eukaryotic microbes that resemble fungi, but are genetically related to the heterokont (brown) algae. Oomycetes have a worldwide distribution and are destructive and highly adaptable pathogens, infecting vascular plants, fish, insects fungi and occasionally humans. Notorious crop damaging pathogens such as the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans, vegetable root rots and (re)-emerging diseases such as fish saprolegniosis and Sudden Oak Death are global threats to food security and natural ecosystems.
    Comparative genomics in the oomycetes reveals major classes of effector proteins used by pathogens to manipulate hosts that can also be recognised by host immune systems. The major challenges in oomycete research are to identify the precise biochemical functions of major pathogenicity determinants (such as effector proteins) and host immune responses (such as plant resistance genes) and translate this research into durable disease control in agriculture, ecosystems and aquaculture. We have assembled a multidisciplinary, inter-sectoral team including some of Europe’s leading researchers in the field, SMEs, multinational companies and government agencies, to train the next generation of European researchers to address these challenges.
    PROTECTA aims for a large-scale quantification of effector gene expression and protein abundance during the infection process of oomycetes that infect diverse crop, tree, and fish hosts. We will advance our fundamental understanding of the genetics and biochemistry of host-oomycete interactions on an unprecedented scale. We will exploit this data to identify new mechanisms of host resistance and work directly with plant breeding and aquaculture companies to translate our results into new crop varieties with durable resistance, new ways to protect fish in aquaculture, and new biological control methods to protect agricultural systems and reduce European dependence on chemical pesticides.
    AcronymPROTECTA
    StatusActive
    Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/22