Genetic basis of a natural plant pathosystem

During the last two decades, scientists achieved a better understanding of the molecular basis of host-parasite co-evolution. However, many studies focused on the interaction of the genetic plant model species Arabidopsis thaliana and the highly pathogenic but non-specific tomato pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000.

The Bergelson lab studies the interaction of A. thaliana and one of its highly abundant bacterial resident, P. viridiflava . We previously identified broad-scale natural variation in resistance phenotypes towards two distinct clades of P. viridiflava . While some genotypes of A. thaliana show little signs of disease or low bacteria titer, others suffer from severe hydrolysis of leaf tissue.

In a collaboration with Fabrice Roux, Joy Bergelson and Madlen Vetter, we currently identify and confirm the genetic loci underlying strain-specific and general defense mechanisms of A. thaliana against its natural pathogen P. viridiflava.

Araki, Hitoshi, Hideki Innan, Martin Kreitman, and Joy Bergelson. 2007. “Molecular Evolution of Pathogenicity-Island Genes in Pseudomonas Viridiflava.” Genetics 177 (2): 1031–41. Cite
Traw, M Brian, Joel M Kniskern, and Joy Bergelson. 2007. “SAR Increases Fitness of Arabidopsis Thaliana in the Presence of Natural Bacterial Pathogens.” Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 61 (10): 2444–9. Cite
Araki, Hitoshi, Dacheng Tian, Erica M Goss, Katrin Jakob, Solveig S Halldorsdottir, Martin Kreitman, and Joy Bergelson. 2006. “Presence/Absence Polymorphism for Alternative Pathogenicity Islands in Pseudomonas Viridiflava, a Pathogen of Arabidopsis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103 (15): 5887–92. Cite