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Seminar: Dr. Michelle Heck

Vector-Pathogen Interactions in Plant Disease: A view from the interface of evolutionary and molecular biology

A majority of plant pathogens and a large number of animal pathogens are transmitted by insect vectors. Plant pathogens are divided between those that are carried on the cuticle linings of mouthparts and foreguts and those that circulate in their vectors. Insects in the order Hemiptera are among the most prolific vectors of plant pathogens. The Heck Lab focuses on plant pathogens that are exclusively transmitted by hemipteran pests in a circulative manner. These pathogens and their insect vectors are responsible for a range of plant diseases with major economic impact, including cotton blue disease and citrus greening disease. Phloem-retention facilitates circulative transmission by these insects, which spend prolonged periods of time feeding in the phloem tissue. This seminar will highlight our efforts to develop and apply advanced molecular technologies to enable us to explore the dynamic pathogen-vector interface. Several examples of molecular, biochemical and organismal data will be discussed to illustrate the power of these technologies to further our basic understanding of the molecular pathways involved in circulative pathogen transmission and the excellent agreement of our data with previously published studies on the biology of circulative transmission. Finally, examples from our data will also be presented to show how molecular technologies can enable us to develop novel strategies to study pathogen transmission and possibly disrupt pathogen movement within and between hosts. View Abstract (PDF).

Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 3:45pm

Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, 4031 ( Map)
1712 Claflin Rd Manhattan KS 66506-5500

Event Type

Lecture, Colloquia, Seminar

Plant Pathology, Department of
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