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Title: Molecular basis of Serendipita indica mediated mutualism in plants
Author: Burton, Frances
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 8779
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Plants establish associations with beneficial fungi in order to overcome abiotic and biotic stresses. An example is Serendipita indica, which colonises the roots of a broad range of plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana. S. indica has been shown to increase crop yield, induce tolerance against drought and salinity, and enhance pathogen resistance in plants. However, the underlying molecular mechanism, utilised by S. indica to confer these beneficial effects to the host plant, is unknown. S. indica may induce beneficial effects in plants, through the use of effector proteins. Sequencing of the S. indica genome, revealed 386 putative effectors. To elucidate the full sequences of these effector candidates, the S. indica transcriptome was sequenced. A shortlist of 150 S. indica effector candidates was generated for experimental investigation. The potential A. thaliana targets of these 150 putative effectors, were identified through Yeast-two hybrid screening, and by identifying differentially regulated genes from RNA-seq data. Only 38 A. thaliana proteins, that were targeted by the S. indica effector candidates, are known pathogen effector targets. Therefore, the majority of S. indica plant targets are novel, and may not be affected by plant pathogens. These novel targets provide new opportunities, for scientists to engineer crop plants that produce greater yields, and exhibit enhanced resistance to drought, salinity and disease. One pathogen S. indica is known to induce resistance against, is the necrotrophic pathogen Fusarium graminearum. To identify if any S. indica effector candidates, were responsible for protecting barley from F. graminearum, a screening process was set up. This involved the optimisation of a stable barley root transformation system, and the adaptation of F. graminearum inoculation procedures. A metabolite extraction procedure was also developed, to determine if any S. indica specialised metabolites were involved in promoting F. graminearum resistance in barley.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: BASF SE
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QK Botany