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Title: Interactions between stomatal density and plant disease
Author: Dutton, Christian
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 3314
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The work in this thesis explores the interaction between stomata and pathogen infection. Previous research in this area has focussed on the short-term response of stomatal closure in response to pathogen infection. The work presented here examines how stomatal density affects the rate at which pathogens colonise the plant, and further explores how plants regulate the formation of new stomatal openings following pathogen infection. Using genetically engineered Arabidopsis and wheat plants which are altered in one or more components of the stomatal development pathway, it was shown that bacterial and fungal colonisation by stomatal pathogens is significantly affected by the stomatal density. Localised infection of Arabidopsis plants with Pseudomonas syringae pv. DC3000 was used to examine the effect of pathogen infection on the formation of stomata. Local infection was found to significantly reduce the frequency of stomata on leaves that develop following local infection of mature leaves. This is possibly an adaptive response used by plants living in environments with high risks of pathogen infection. The signalling pathway responsible for this change was examined by infiltrating a variety of Arabidopsis defence mutants with PstDC3000, or infiltrating wild type Arabidopsis with chemical defence elicitors or signals. It was found that detection of flagellin by the FLS2 receptor, salicylic acid production and salicylic acid accumulation are required for the reduction in stomatal density. In a separate study, an Arabidopsis mutant lacking CYP86A2 was found to have enhanced drought tolerance and altered tolerance to both necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens.
Supervisor: Gray, J. E. ; Ton, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available