Jonathan D. Walton
Department of Energy Plant Research Lab
Michigan State University
E. Lansing, MI 48824
In the last issue of the Reporter I
gave a brief synopsis of the major genome projects on plant-associated
bacteria, both symbionts and pathogens. In this issue I cover
plant-associated fungi, including Oomycetes.
The most significant feature of the fungi
compared to bacteria is, of course, their larger genomes. Whereas
bacterial genomes fall in the 2-6 MB range, those of fungi range from
8 Mb (Ashyba) to 40 Mb (a typical Ascomycete) on up to 240 Mb (
the Oomycete Phytophthora infestans). This is the the
main reason that at this point there are no known completed
genomes. (Among filamentous fungi in general, Neurospora crassa
will be the first; see www.genome.wi.mit.edu/annotation/fungi/neurospora/).
I emphasize “known” because another difference between the genomes
covered in the last issue and most of the projects covered here is
that whereas most of the bacterial projects are publicly financed and
therefore their results are being made rapidly available to all
researchers without restrictions, many fungal projects are being
privately financed by for-profit entities. Most of the companies who
have paid for genomic sequencing realize that they cannot capture all
of its value by their own in-house efforts and therefore welcome
collaborations. Such collaborative access, however, is typically
restricted to academic researchers, mediated through the agency of a
company employee (who may not have sufficient time or interest to
devote to the task), limited to searching on a gene-by-gene basis, and
subject to the willingness of researchers (and their University
administrations) to comply with whatever intellectual property rights
policies the company imposes.
There are apparently a number of private
genome efforts in both fungi and bacteria that have not been
announced. I have avoided mentioning any projects that exist only by
rumor; all of the private efforts listed here are those that have been
publicly acknowledged to exist.
Due both to their larger genomes and to the
relative lack of public funding, to date much of the “genomics”
emphasis on plant-associated filamentous fungi and Oomycetes has not
been on direct genomic sequencing but rather on efforts such as EST
sequencing, construction of BAC libraries, generation of mapping
markers, and population surveys of variability. Many of these projects
have been “pilot-scale,” designed to prove feasibility to granting
agencies for funds to support more serious large-scale EST and genomic
sequencing. In some cases the efforts have borne fruit, but many have
not yet done so.
A report by Sophien Kamoun and Saskia
Hogenhout (Ohio State University) on the recent Agricultural Microbes
Genome 2 Conference held in San Diego in January, 2001, will be
published in the March issue of Plant Cell. It covers both
prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes associated with plants.
1. Phytophthora. This genus of
Oomycetes contains major pathogens of hundreds of crops including
potato, tomato, cocoa, and soybean. Species are diploid with rather
large genomes (estimated to be 62 Mb for P. sojae, 240 Mb for P.
infestans, and 60-120 Mb for other species). Some EST sequences
(<5000) are currently available in the public databases. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture has recently funded a project, headed by
Brett Tyler at UC Davis and including Howard Judelson, Ralph Dean, and
Callum Bell, to sequence >50,000 ESTs from P. infestans and P.
sojae. A description of the project was presented at the
Agricultural Microbes Genome 2 conference in January, 2001; see http://www.intl-pag.org/amg/2/abstracts/W05_09.html.
An international consortium of researchers called the Phytophthora
Genome Initiative (PGI) has been established; information including
sequence access is being coordinated through the National Center for
Genome Resources (NCGR) (website: www.ncgr.org/pgi).
Members of the PGI have to date constructed BAC libraries, cDNA
libraries from various lifecycle and infection stages, and ~100 kb of
genomic sequence. Syngenta (formerly Novartis) is also sequencing
~35,000 ESTs from P. infestans. The data from this project will
not be immediately publicly available, but the goal is to integrate
the results into the NCGR database by the end of 2002. See the article
by Kamoun and Hogenhout cited above for more details.
2. Magnaporthe grisea. This
Ascomycete is a major pathogen of rice. An international consortium
dedicated to the eventual sequencing of the entire genome has been
Ralph Dean (NC State) and Dan Ebbole (Texas A&M) were recently
funded by the USDA to sequence a 4.2-Mb chromosome of M. grisea
and to sequence 35,000 ESTs. All data will be released to the major
databases immediately. For details see http://www.intl-pag.org/amg/2/abstracts/W05_02.html.
Intensive work on M. grisea at Paradigm Genetics, Inc.
(Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) is focusing on a combination
of genomic sequencing and high throughput gene knockouts (http://www.fgsc.net/asilo99/posterabs5.htm).
3. Ashbya gossypi. This
Ascomycete attacks cotton and also citrus and tomato. It is
transmitted by insect vestors. A. gossypi is distinctive in
having a small genome (~8.8 Mb) and efficient homologous integration
of transforming DNA. Sequencing of the genome has been almost
completed through a collaboration of Syngenta (Novartis) at Research
Triangle Park, North Carolina, and the University of Basel.
Collaborators include Tom Gaffney, Peter Philippsen, and Fred Dietrich
(http://www.fgsc.net/asilo99/posterabs1.htm). The sequence will
eventually be published; in the meantime, academic labs can request
defined A. gossypi sequences of interest via a material
transfer agreement through one of the two involved institutions.
4. Fusarium. This large genus of
ascomycetous fungi includes many important plant pathogens. F. graminearum
(Gibberella zeae) is currently causing outbreaks of head
scab (head blight) in wheat and other cereals and is of particular
concern due to its production of grain-contaminating mycotoxins. A
public project to construct a BAC library and to sequence upwards of
16,000 ESTs has been funded and started; for more details see the
article by F. Trail in the July, 2000, IS-MPMI Reporter. The genome is
being sequenced by the Torrey Mesa Research Institute (TMRI), formerly
Novartis Agricultual Discovery Institute (NADII), San Diego,
California. Access to the data as well as from other plant pathogenic
fungi being sequenced at TMRI (see below) will be possible via
collaborative agreements. Information will be posted on the TMRI web
site (http://www.nadii.com/) or contact Gillian Turgeon at
5. Ustilago maydis is a
heterobasidiomycete that causes hypertrophy on maize. Its genome of
~20 Mb has been sequenced to 85% coverage under the direction of
Regine Kahmann (University of Munich and University of Marburg) with
funding from Bayer. Bayer currently has no intentions to make the data
public but are willing to establish cooperations with individuals who
intend to study certain genes and who have signed secrecy agreements.
Exelixis, Inc. has announced that it has also sequenced 97% of the
coding region of U. maydis, but no information on public access
is given (http://www.exelixis.com/webpage_t
6. Cochliobolus heterostrophus
is the ascomycete pathogen that caused the 1970 Southern corn leaf
blight epidemic. Its genome of ~35 MB is being sequenced by TMRI (Syngenta)
in San Diego. Microarrays are also being designed. See above for
7. Leptosphaeria maculans is a
filamentous ascomycete that causes blackleg disese of oilseed rape. An
180-kb genomic region that contains at least one avr gene is being
sequenced by Genoscope in France. Funding has come from the
EU-FAIR-IMASCORE project, coordinated by M.H. Balesdent (INRA).
Collaborators include T. Rouxel (INRA), L. Cattolico and F.
Artiguenave (CNS), and T. Rouxel (INRA). The BAC sequences will be
freely available within 6 months of completion. See http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/externe/English/Projets/Projet_DM/DM.html.
An Australian group under the direction of Barbara Howlett has
sequenced some ESTs and genomic sequence from L. maculans (www.botany.umelb.edu.au/blackleg.htm).
8. Mycosphaerella graminicola (Septoria
tritici) causes leaf blotch of wheat, a serious disease in
Europe. Its genome is being studied by a Dutch consortium that
includes Plant Research International (Dr. G.H.J. Kema), Syngenta, and
the University of Wageningen (http://www.greenomics.nl/index_profile.html
and http://www.plant.wageningen-ur.nl/news/). At the moment the data
are not public but “later parts may be public.”
9. Botrytis cinerea is a
non-specialized filamentous ascomycete that attacks hundreds of crops.
Genomic sequencing efforts are ongoing at TMRI (Syngenta; see under Fusarium
above for contact information). Genoscope, France, is doing BAC-end
sequencing of B. cinerea. See: http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/externe/English/Projets/Projet_DI/DI.html.
10. Blumeria (Erysiphe) graminis
is an obligate ascomycete pathogen of barley, causing the disease
known as powdery mildew. Related species attack many other plants.
Approximately 5000 ESTs have been sequenced by a project coordinated
by Richard Oliver (Carlsberg Laboratories, Copenhagen; current address
Murdoch University, Perth, Australia) and are publicly available at www.crc.dk/phys/blumeria.
11. Trichoderma spp. The genus
contains several mycoparasitic species that offer potential for
biocontrol of pathogenic fungi. Genomics research is being used as one
avenue to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of
parasitism. A consortium to produce >7000 unique EST sequences from
Trichoderma grown under a variety of conditions (in association
with fungal hosts and with plants, and on different media) is headed
by New BioTechnic, S.A., a Spanish biotech company, along with
researchers at the University of Salamanca, the University of Seville,
Cornell University, Texas A&M University, the University of
Naples, and the Technical University of Vienna. “The results will be
evaluated for commercial applications and protected in specific cases.
After this process, they will become available to the academic
community.” Contact Matteo Lorito, University of Naples (email@example.com)
for further information.
12. Mycorrhizal fungi. ESTs (~1200) have been
sequenced from Glomus intradices by groups at the Noble
Foundation (Ardmore, Oklahoma) and New Mexico State University, and
are scheduled to be submitted to GenBank in the near future.
I apologize for any omissions. Comments,
corrections, and updates are cordially welcome for inclusion in a
future issue of the Reporter. Many thanks to all those who contributed
the information on which this article is based.
Jan E. Leach
Professor of Plant Pathology and President of IS-MPMI
Kansas State University
How many times in the past few years have you
been asked to “prioritize” journals or scholarly publications for
your institutional library with the knowledge that subscriptions to
low priority journals would not be renewed by the library? And how
many times have the libraries refused your request to add a new
journal or publication because they have no funds to add new journals?
While I cannot speak to the situation in other countries, the
situation in the USA is abysmal.
Even with additional funds committed to our
libraries, they still cannot keep up with the sharply increasing costs
of scholarly journals. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
reports that while their member libraries spent 2.7 times more money
for serials in 1998-99 compared to 1985-86, they purchased 6% fewer
titles (Kyrillidou, 2000a). If the same trends hold, our libraries
will purchase 16% fewer serials in 2020 than in 1986.
What is happening? Since 1986, the average
journal price has more than tripled. Why the huge increases in the
prices of journals? Because publishing scholarly journals has become
extraordinarily profitable. While there are real costs to publishing,
i.e., copy editing, printing, and distribution costs, the costs of
publishing scholarly journals are low compared to magazines because
(1) we, the authors, using resources from our institutions and
granting agencies, perform the research and contribute the papers to
the journals for free or even pay a fee to have them published, and
(2) we, the reviewers and editors, review submissions for free. Since
our career advancement is dependent on our publishing in widely read
journals, we bite the bullet and pay the cost.
Not-for-profit societies that publish
journals, such as IS-MPMI, usually charge lower prices for their
journals. For example, the institutional subscription prices for
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, which is published jointly by
IS-MPMI and the American Phytopathological Society, are $410 per year
for print only and $550 per year for online and print. Plant Cell,
which is published by the American Society of Plant Physiologists, and
the Journal of Bacteriology, which is published by the American
Society for Microbiology, are $1690 (print and online) and $688 (print
only) per year, respectively. The institutional rates for Plant
Journal and Molecular Microbiology, both published by Blackwell
Science, Ltd, a for-profit-publisher, are $2019 and $2,645 (print and
Even our own not-for-profit societies have
recognized the value of publishing scholarly journals. Provost David
Shulenburger of the University of Kansas reports that the costs of
journals published by not-for-profit publishers (such as our
scientific society publishers) have increased by 34.16% between 1994
and 1998 (Shulenburger, 1998). Although this is lower than the 56.63%
increase for the ‘for-profit’ published journals over the same
period, he reminds us that “it is dramatically higher-three times
higher-than the 10.58% increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index for
this same period.” It is interesting that “most journal publishers
report operating profit margins of nearly 40% of revenue, roughly
double the profit margins in the rest of educational publishing”
Will electronic publishing save the day?
Electronic publishing offers many advantages. It gives us speedier
access to articles, reduced costs for some parts of publishing, e.g.,
color images, and access to marvelous search engines. In fact,
increasing numbers of libraries are spending more and more of their
budgets on electronic publications (Kyrillidou, 2000b). But, there
also are problems. Preservation and access to electronic resources are
unresolved issues: will electronically stored materials be accessible
in ten or fifteen years as paper journals are now? Perhaps more
disturbing, electronic access may be severely restricted by license
agreements, that is, once you lease the information, you may not be
able to share it.
Clearly, the high costs and restrictive
licenses imposed by many publishers of our journals are not going to
be resolved by continued journal cancellations in our libraries.
Recognizing this, groups of stakeholders in the scholarly publishing
process have worked to build a set of principles to guide improvement
of the ailing publishing system (http://www.arl.org/scomm/tempe.html)
and have proposed alternative means to publish (http://www.createchange.org/home.html).
Some of these are:
- Obligatory submission of all scholarly
publications to NEAR, the National Electronic Article Repository, a
centralized repository that is completely publicly accessible. Under
a proposal suggested by David Shulenburger, journals would retain
copyrights to their (your) articles only for a certain period of
time, say 90 days, after which they would have to be available at
NEAR. Publishers would thereby give up some of the value that their
efforts add to scholarly research, but this seems reasonable since
the value of articles also derives from the significant and largely
unpaid efforts of authors, editors, and reviewers. It is unknown if
such a policy would, in fact, result in any journals decreasing
their subscription rates. This would quite likely not be the case
for fast-moving fields, which arguably includes plant-microbe
interactions, in which 90 days is an inordinately long time to wait
to see the latest results. It seems unlikely that readers of
journals in hot areas would allow their libraries to cancel such
- An alternative offered by Charles
Phelps (Provost, U. Rochester) complements Shulenburger’s
proposal. This model proposes separating the functions currently
performed by the system of journal publication (quality
certification, editorial improvement, distribution, indexing, and
archiving), that is, breaking the link between the peer review
process and the publication process. One way to do this would be by
paying scholarly societies to conduct peer evaluation of
manuscripts, and leaving functions such as publication and
dissemination to other entities, for example, discipline-based or
university-based computer servers.
- SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and
Academic Resources Coalition, fosters competition by providing
member-generated incentive funding to competitive online journals as
a means of introducing more balanced market forces into the
publication industry (http://www.arl.org/sparc/home/index.asp?page=0).
Many scholars have urged the creation of
electronic means for scholars to communicate directly with colleagues
without the intervention of publishers. For example, the Open Archives
initiative proposes to provide the means for such an exchange (http://www.openarchives.org/).
PubMed Central, created by the National
Institutes of Health, allows publishers and other independent
organizations to deposit articles and reports in the life sciences
into a central online system that is freely available to the public (http://www.nih.gov/about/director/pubmedcentral/pubmedcentral.htm).
What can you, the authors, reviewers and
editors, do to regain control of the scholarly communication system
that was originally created to benefit our students, colleagues, and
ourselves? I would urge you to:
- submit papers to quality journals that
have reasonable pricing practices (for example, MPMI).
- examine the pricing, copyright, and
licensing agreements of any commercially published journal you
contribute to as an author, reviewer, or editor.
- consider using your influence by
refusing to review for unreasonably expensive journals or to serve
on their editorial boards.
- modify any contract you sign with a
commercial publisher to ensure your right to use your work as you
see fit, including posting it to a public archive.
- consider, if you are an editor of a
too-costly journal, moving your journal to a non-profit publisher or
resigning and allying yourself with a more reasonably priced
competitive publication, in accordance with any applicable
Case, M. Provosts propose solution to
journals crisis. 1999. ARL Bimonthly Report 202, February, (http://www.arl.org/newsltr/202/intro.html).
Kirkpatrick, D.D. 2000. As publishers perish,
libraries feel the pain. The New York Times, Nov. 3, p. 1 of Business
Kyrillidou, M. 2000a. Journal costs: Current
trends & future scenarios for 2020. ARL Bimonthly Report 210, June
Kyrillidou, M. 2000b. Research library
spending on electronic scholarly information is on the rise. ARL
Bimonthly Report 213, December 20, (http://www.arl.org/newsltr/213/spend.html).
Phelps, C.E. 1998. Achieving maximal value
from digital technologies in scholarly communication (http://www.arl.org/arl/proceedings/133/phelps.html).
Shulenburger, D. 1998. Moving with dispatch
to resolve the scholarly communication crisis: From here to near. (http://www.ukans.edu/~provost/arl.shtml).
On behalf of the organizing committee and
International Society of
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, I
invite you to participate in the upcoming 10th International Congress
on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. This Congress is the premier
venue for communication of new biology related to the molecular study
of plant-microbe interactions. The main Congress will take place from
July 10-14, 2001 at the Memorial Union of the University of Wisconsin,
Madison U.S.A. A satellite meeting on Medicago will be held from July
7-9, 2001 immediately before the Congress. Douglas Cook is organizing
this latter event. A workshop on new and innovative methods being used
to teach molecular plant-microbe interactions will be held on July 10,
2001. Caitilyn Allen is hosting this event. A preliminary copy of the
program of the Congress is available at the web site (http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/mpmi/). We
have invited 56 world-class speakers and all have agreed to
participate. Thirteen additional speakers will be chosen based on
information provided in the abstracts. We hope that this will be the
largest MPMI meeting to be held to date. Attendance of this Congress
has increased steadily since its inception some 20 years ago. Our
facilities at the University of Wisconsin can accommodate 1300
participants. To encourage attendance by students we have reduced the
student registration fee and are making available university residence
halls for housing at a reasonable cost.
We look forward to seeing you at the
Sally Ann Leong
In January, 2001, the new editorial board of
MPMI began its 3-year term. Herman Spaink replaces Jan
Leach as editor-in-chief and is joined by 10 new senior editors.
To acquaint IS-MPMI members with the new board members, brief
biographies are presented.
was a senior editor of MPMI from 1997 to 2000 in the area of
microbe-plant symbioses. In 1999, he was elected to the board of
directors of IS-MPMI. As a function of his position as editor in chief
of MPMI, he is also a member of the publication board of The American
Phytopathological Society. Since January 1998, he has been a full
professor in molecular cell biology at Leiden University, Leiden, the
Netherlands. His research currently focuses on the mechanism of signal
transduction of Nod factors and chitin oligosaccharides. The plant
model system now used for this research is Lotus japonicus. He
is also studying the link with chitin oligosaccharide signaling in
zebrafish embryogenesis. His expertise is mainly in the biochemical
aspects of biology. More recently, he became involved in the
establishment of a state-of-the-art microscopy center at Leiden
University, which focuses on modern fluorescence analyses techniques
such as two-photon microscopy, correlation spectroscopy, and (in
collaboration with the Leiden biophysics department) single molecule
dynamics. A more detailed overview of his research interests can be
found at his homepage: http://rulbim.leidenuniv.nl/~spaink/.
started his professional career as a researcher in plant pathology in
Versailles. Directeur de Recherches at INRA and former Director of the
Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Plant Microbe-Interactions (CNRS-INRA)
in Castanet Tolosan (1994-1998), he devotes his research to molecular
analysis of pathogenicity determinants of Ralstonia solanacearum.
He spent one sabbatical year (1975) in Madison, WI, with Luis
Sequeira and one (1989) in Berkeley, CA, with Brian Staskawicz.
Jane Glazebrook is
a senior staff scientist for Novartis Agricultural Discovery
Institute, Inc. in San Diego, CA. Jane received a B.Sc. degree in
Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1985. Her
graduate work with Graham Walker concerning nodulation by Sinorhizobium
meliloti led to a doctoral degree in Biology from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. From 1991 to 1995, she
was a post-doctoral fellow in Fred Ausubel's laboratory, where
she began her work on genetic dissection of plant defense responses
using Arabidopsis thaliana. For much of this time, she was
supported by an NSF Plant Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship. From 1995
to 1998, she was an assistant professor at the Center for Agricultural
Biotechnology of the University of Maryland. Jane joined the Novartis
Agricultural Discovery Institute, Inc. in 1998. Research in her group
is aimed at elucidating the signal transduction network controlling
activation of plant defense responses after pathogen attack, and at
understanding the contribution of specific defense mechanisms to
resistance to particular pathogens. She previously served as an
Associate Editor of MPMI.
is an associate professor in phytopathology at the Department of Plant
Sciences of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and staff member
at the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences. She received an
M.Sc. degree in plant pathology and a Ph.D. degree in plant molecular
biology. Her thesis work in the laboratory of Ton Bisseling
involved studies on nodulin gene expression in developing pea root
nodules. She joined the Laboratory of Phytopathology in 1990. Her
research interest is in the biology and pathology of the oomycete Phytophthora
infestans, the causal agent of potato late blight. Her research
group focuses on (i) characterizing pathogenicity factors and
elicitors of defense responses, (ii) unraveling signal transduction
pathways underlying pathogenicity, (iii) developing a molecular
toolbox, (iv) mapping the P. infestans genome, and (v) genomics
and functional genomics of Phytophthora. Results from these
areas of research are directed toward designing rational control
strategies for late blight and other diseases caused by oomycete
pathogens. She teaches introductory plant pathology and advanced
plant-microbe interaction courses to undergraduates and more
specialized, thematic courses to graduate students.
obtained his Ph.D. degree in his native country, Switzerland, after
studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich,
with emphasis on microbiology and biochemistry. From 1974 to 1978, he
was a postdoctoral fellow at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia),
University of Kansas Medical Center (USA), and Institut Pasteur
(Paris, France). In 1978, he returned to ETH to lead a group studying
the metabolic versatility of pseudomonads. In a collaboration with Geneviève
Défago (ETH), he became interested in the mechanisms of
biological control exerted by fluorescent pseudomonads. Since 1993, he
has been the director of the Laboratoire de Biologie Microbienne at
the University of Lausanne, where he teaches general microbiology. His
current research focuses on the regulation of secondary metabolism in
pseudomonads, especially on the genetic mechanisms that are pertinent
to biological control or virulence of these bacteria.
Maria J. Harrison
received her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and applied molecular
biology in 1988 from the University of Manchester, Institute of
Science and Technology. From 1988 to 1990, she was a postdoctoral
fellow in Richard Dixon’s lab in the Plant Biology Division
at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, where she worked on
transcription factors responsible for the regulation of a
pathogen-inducible chalcone synthase gene in Phaseolus vulgaris.
In the latter part of 1990, she became a group leader and subsequently
initiated research using a model legume, Medicago truncatula,
for molecular and genetic investigations of the arbuscular mycorrhizal
(AM) symbiosis. She is currently an associate scientist in the Plant
Biology Division at The Noble Foundation and also holds adjunct
positions in the Biology Department at Texas A&M University and in
the Biochemistry Department at Oklahoma State University. Her research
interests include mechanisms underlying development and functioning of
the AM symbiosis and phosphate perception, signaling, and transport in
plants. She is a member of the editorial boards of Mycorrhiza
and New Phytologist and served previously as an associate
editor and senior editor (Mycorrhizal Associations) for MPMI.
earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Washington in Seattle.
His thesis work involved the isolation and characterization of genes
encoding the crystal protein toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.
He then worked on cell-type specific gene expression and the pheromone
response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a postdoctoral
scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc., in Seattle. This work led to an
interest in mating-type regulation in fungal pathogens of plants, and
he moved to the University of Wisconsin to begin research on Ustilago
maydis. He joined the faculty at the University of British
Columbia in 1989 and is currently a professor in a multidisciplinary
research department called the Biotechnology Laboratory. His research
program now focuses on the role of mating functions in the
pathogenesis of Ustilago species and on cAMP signaling in U.
maydis and Cryptococcus neoformans.
received a B.A. degree in biology-chemistry at Point Loma College in
1980 and a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology at the University of
Kentucky in 1986. After completing his Ph.D. under the direction of Robert
Shepherd, he worked as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell
University with Milton Zaitlin from 1986 to 1987. Schoelz
joined the faculty at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1987
and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Plant
Microbiology and Pathology. His primary research interests there have
concerned host-virus interactions that condition host resistance and
biotechnology risk assessment of viral transgenes. He teaches an
undergraduate course, Theory and Concepts of Plant Pathology, and
portions of the graduate course, Genetics of the Plant-Microorganism
Interaction. Schoelz served as an associate editor for MPMI
from 1999 to 2001 and also has served on the editorial board of Virology
Jens Stougaard received
his Ph.D. degree in 1983 from the University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K.
From 1983 to 1989 he did postdoctoral research in the Department of
Molecular Biology at the University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark. In
1984, he received an OECD fellowship from the Max-Planck Institut für
Züchtungsforschung, Cologne, Germany, and in 1990 an EMBO fellowship
from The Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Centre for Plant
Science Research, Norwich, U.K. He is currently a full professor in
the Department of Molecular and Structural Biology, University of
Aarhus. He is a member of the International Society for Plant
Molecular Biology, The American Phytopathological Society, and IS-MPMI.
received his Ph.D. degree in 1989 from the Australian National
University (ANU) where he studied symbiotic nitrogen fixation. After
postdoctoral work at Washington State University in the United States
and then the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry in Australia, he took a
faculty position back at the ANU in 1994. From 1994 to 1998, he worked
on both symbiotic nitrogen fixation and the acquisition of inorganic
mineral nitrogen (nitrate and ammonium) in plants. In 1998, he moved
to his current position of associate professor at the Max Planck
Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Germany, where his group
continues to work on nitrogen acquisition in plants. As an extension
of this work, they are also studying nitrogen and redox regulation of
gene expression in plants. Their work on symbiotic nitrogen fixation
now focuses on the Lotus japonicus-Mesorhizobium loti
symbiosis, and he coordinates a European functional genomics project
involving nine labs that uses Lotus japonicus as a model to
study mutualistic symbioses.
Valerie Moroz Williamson received
a B.A. degree in biology in 1971 from Northeastern University, Boston,
MA, and a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry in 1978 from the University of
California, Davis. From 1978 to 1981 she was a postdoctoral fellow in
the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington,
Seattle, and from 1981 to 1987 she was a research scientist and lab
leader, Molecular Biology Group, ARCO Plant Cell Research Institute,
Dublin, CA. She is now a professor in the Department of Nematology,
University of California, Davis. She has served as both an associate
editor and senior editor of MPMI and was a co-organizer in 1996
of the Keystone Symposium, Molecular Helminthology: An Integrated
Approach. In 1995, she was a member of USDA-CGRO Entomology
Competitive Grant Review Panel and in 1993 served on the NATO Advanced
Research Workshop on Molecular Plant Nematology Organizing Committee.
She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, The American Phytopathological Society, and the Society of
Theses Completed at the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences
ABC transporters and multidrug resistance in Aspergillus
nidulans. Prof.dr. P.J.G.M. de Wit, (promotor); dr. M.A. de
Waard (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 19 September 2000, 157 pp.
The aim of this thesis was to characterise
molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in Aspergillus nidulans,
with special emphasis on drug-efflux proteins of the ABC-transporter
superfamily. We have identified seven of these genes (atrA-G).
Expression studies in a wild-type isolate demonstrated that the basal
level of expression for most atr genes is low and can be
strongly enhanced by treatment with unrelated toxicants. Time course
experiments indicated that within 5 min after treatment with toxicants
enhanced transcript levels of some atr genes can be observed.
Mutants in which atrB and atrD have been disrupted,
display increased sensitivity to a number of unrelated toxicants.
Mutants overexpressing atrB display decreased sensitivity to
toxicants. These results indicate that AtrBp and AtrDp from A.
nidulans are multidrug transporters with different substrate
specifities. In conclusion, data presented in this thesis demonstrated
that some of the identified ABC transporters from A. nidulans
function in protection against natural toxicants and xenobiotics.
Molecular characterisation of the cowpea
mosaic virus movement protein. Prof.dr. A. van Kammen (promotor); dr.
J.E. Wellink (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 31 October 2000, 143 pp.
Plants infected with cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV)
contain typical tubular structures filled with virus particles in
modified plasmodesmata. These tubules mainly consist out of
virus-specific movement protein (MP) and are involved in cell-to-cell
spread of CPMV. Mutational analysis of the MP has revealed that the
N-terminal and central regions of the MP are involved in tubule
formation and that the C-terminal domain probably has a role in the
interaction with virus particles. The C-terminal border of the
tubule-forming domain was mapped between amino acids 292 and 298.
Results with a tripartite virus encoding wild-type MP and MP lacking
amino acids 314-331 indicate that all C-termini are necessary for
efficient incorporation of virus particles. In epidermal cells MP
fused to the green fluorescent protein (MP:GFP) mainly accumulated in
fluorescent spots in the cell wall, which presumably are short tubular
structures in modified plasmodesmata. Co-inoculation experiments with
mutant MP:GFP and wild-type MP identified several regions in the MP
involved in targeting to the cell membrane in protoplasts and cell
wall/plasmodesmata in plants and a small region in the C-terminus of
the tubule-forming domain of the MP essential for tubule initiation
A. ten Have
The Botrytis cinerea
endopolygalacturonase gene family. Prof.dr. P.J.G.M. de Wit (promotor);
dr. J.A.L. van Kan (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 22 May 2000, 119 pp.
The thesis describes the analysis of the role
of endopolygalacturonases (endoPG), a class of cell wall degrading
enzymes, in virulence of the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea.
A family of 6 endoPG genes from B. cinerea was cloned and
character- rized. The genes display a different expression pattern in
vitro under various growth conditions. On four distinct host plant
tissues, the genes display a differential temporal and/or spatial
expression pattern. One of the endoPG genes, denominated Bcpg1,
was mutated hygene replacement. The virulence of the BcPG1-deficient
mutant was reduced by approximately 25% on four distinct host tissues.
This was determined by using a synchronised disease assay specially
developed for quantifying relative virulence levels.
The helper component-proteinase of cowpea
aphid-borne mosaic virus. Prof.dr. A. van Kammen (promotor); dr. J.E.
Wellink, dr. I. Sithole-Niang (co-promotors), WU, Wageningen, 8
December 2000, 111 pp.
Sequencing of overlapping RT-PCR clones of
cowpea aphid-borne mosaic (CABMV) resulted in 9,465 nucleotides of the
genomic sequence of the virus. Sequence alignments confirmed the
original classification of CABMV as a distinct virus species of the
BCMV subgroup of legume infecting potyviruses. Further analyses
focussed on gaining insights into the functions of the HC-Pro protein.
The HC-Pro gene was expressed in E. coli and an antiserum
specific to the HC-Pro protein was obtained. Using this antiserum, the
HC-Pro protein was found localised in the cytoplasm. The expression of
the HC-Pro protein as part of the cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) genome
revealed its striking ability to enhance the virulence of CPMV, which
appears consistent with the established role of HC-Pro in promoting
virus infections by suppressing host defence responses. Upon infection
of transgenic N. benthamiana plants transformed with HC-Pro
sequences with the parental CABMV and heterologous viruses, a symptom
enhancing effect was observed, confirming the role of HC-Pro as a
pathogenicity factor and modulator of host defence responses. It was
also shown that transgene-induced silencing of HC-Pro resulting in
complete resistance to CABMV is possible in N. benthamiana despite
the ability of HC-Pro to suppress post transcriptional gene silencing.
Regulation of the avirulence gene Avr9
of the fungal tomato pathogen Cladosporium fulvum. Prof.dr.
P.J.G.M. de Wit (promotor); dr. T. Goosen, dr. M.H.A.J. Joosten (co-promotors),
WU, Wageningen, 10 October 2000, 120 pp.
fulvum is a biotrophic fungal pathogen of tomato. The
interaction between this fungus and tomato complies with the
gene-for-gene system. Many resistance genes in tomato and their
matching avirulence genes in C. fulvum have been cloned.
Interaction between the products of the gene pairs leads to a
hypersensitive response in tomato and resistance. The research
presented in this thesis focuses on the regulation of the avirulence
gene Avr9. The expression of Avr9 is only induced in C.
fulvum after it has passed the stomatal pore, which is the natural
opening used by the fungus to penetrate tomato leaves. In addition, in
vitro the expression of Avr9 can be induced under
nitrogen-limiting growth conditions. Indeed, in the promoter of Avr9
(TA)GATA sequences are present to which GATA-type transcription
factors bind. These factors are usually involved in global regulation
of nitrogen metabolism. Of the twelve (TA)GATA sequences present in
the promotor of Avr9 only two invertedly-oriented sequences
appeared to be required for inducibility of the Avr9 promotor.
The transcription factor Nrf1 (for nitrogen response factor 1)
is also required for Avr9 inducibility in vitro During growth
in planta, an additional transciption factor seems to be active, as
transgenic strains of C. fulvum lacking Nrf1 are still
avirulent on Cf-9 plants. This observation indicates that,
although very strongly reduced, sufficient amounts of AVR9 elicitor
are still produced by Nrf1-minus strains.
N.N. van der Wel
Interaction between the Alfalfa Mosaic Virus
Movement Protein and plasmodesmata. Prof.dr. R.W. Goldbach (promotor);
dr. J.W.M. van Lent (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 20 September 2000,
This thesis research was part of an ALW
programme aiming to unravel the role of the plant’s plasmodesmata in
virus transport and in cell-cell communication. Using protoplasts as a
test system, it was shown that alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) was able to
form virus-containing tubular structures on infected plant cells,
indicating that in planta the virus employs a mechanism of
tubule-guided movement of mature virus particles. This was further
confirmed by analysis of mutants with specific mutations in the coat
(CP) and movement protein (MP) and defective in systemic spread, which
were tested for their (in)capability to induce virus-filled tubules.
The results with these mutants indicated that the inability to produce
virion-filled tubules on protoplasts coincides with a
transport-deficient phenotype. In plant tissues, at the front of
infection, modified plasmodesmata were found containing both the AMV
CP and MP and having a significantly wider diameter than those in
non-infected as well as fully infected tissues. Also the number of
plasmodesmata had increased nearly two-fold at the infection front.
This implies that structural modification of plasmodesmata occurs, but
only transiently and restricted to the front of infection. Cryo-sectioning
of such plasmodesmata showed the presence of rows of virus particles
within the interior of the plasmodesmal pore suggesting that only
short tubules are formed. A two-hybrid analysis was performed, using
the AMV-MP as bait, to identify host proteins that were specifically
targeted by this viral MP during the infection process. Analysis of an
AMV MP-binding plant protein (AD3) of which the expression could be
verified in plant tissue revealed that AD3 is specifically found in
membrane fractions of both leaf and root tissues and immuno-gold EM
demonstrated its localisation at the plasma membrane. This protein may
have a potential function in support of the intercellular movement of
P. van West
Molecular tools to unravel the role of genes
from Phytophthora infestans.
Prof.dr. P.J.G.M. de Wit (promotor); dr.
F.P.M. Govers (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 14 January 2000, 150 pp.
The oomycete Phytophthora infestans
is the causal agent of potato late blight, a serious threat for potato
crops world wide. This thesis describes the characterisation of four P.
infestans genes with presumed functions in pathogenicity and
virulence, and the development of tools to study expression and
function of two of these. The four genes are the in planta-induced
genes ipiB and ipiO, the elicitin gene inf1, and
the stress-induced gene ric1. We used the ß-glucuronidase
reporter gene for expression analysis of ipiO. GUS staining was
specifically found in hyphal tips at the edge of expanding lesions
where the pathogen is invading healthy leaf tissue. The IPI-O protein
seems to be localised at the interface between the invading hyphae and
the plant cells and this suggests a role for IPI-O in pathogenicity.
By homology-dependent gene silencing expression of inf1 was
abolished. With the engineered INF1-deficient P. infestans
strains is was demonstrated that resistance of Nicotiana benthamiana
to P. infestans is mediated by the elicitor protein INF1.
Detailed analysis of the mechanism of inf1 gene silencing
indicated the involvement of a diffusible silencing factor that is
able to establish gene silencing in non-transgenic nuclei. This novel
silencing phenomenon was named internuclear gene silencing.
L.J.G. van Enckevort
Identification of potato genes involved in Phytophthora
infestans resistance by transposon mutagenesis. Prof.dr. E.
Jacobsen (promotor); dr. A. Pereira (co-promotor),
WU, Wageningen, 4 December 2000, 144 pp.
Potato genes acting in the R1 type HR
resistance reaction upon infection with Phytophthora infestans
were identified using a transposon tagging strategy in diploidised
potato. Somatic and germinal Ac and Ds transposition was characterised
both phenoty pically and molecularly. Protoplast isolation and cell
specific selection for Ds excision enabled the direct selection of
somatic excision events, resulting in the regeneration of a potato
transposon tagged population with predominantly new independent Ds
mutations. Inoculation with P. infestans race 0 and
quantification of the HR resistance response identified four putative
transposon tagged mutants that showed a distinct altered R1 resistance
response. Sequence analysis on the Ds insertions in one mutant
identified significant homology to receptor kinase-like proteins. In
total, 11 different Solanum tuberosum protein kinase (StPK)
homologs were isolated and the transposon mutated StPKs were
designated rpr1 and rpr2, genes required for P.
infestans R1 resistance.
Characterization of resistance genes to Cladosporium
fulvum on the short arm of chromosome 1 of tomato. Prof.dr. P.
Stam (promotor); dr. W.H. Lindhout (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 4
January 2000, 119 pp.
A number of Cf genes, conferring
resistance to Cladosporium fulvum in tomato, with novel
specificities were identified and mapped to the short arm of tomato
chromosome 1. To this end an integrated high density AFLP/RFLP linkage
map was constructed using different L. esculentum x L.
penelli F2 mapping populations. Resistant Lycopersicon
accessions were used to indentify a novel gene, Cf-ECP5, whhose
product recognizes the extracellular protein ECP5 of C. fulvum.
Cf-ECP5 mapped four centimorgans proximal to the Hcr9
locus ‘Milky Way’ and was designated ‘Aurora.’ By
hypersensitive reaction upon specific recognition of protein ECP2,
five accessions were shown to harbour the gene Cf-ECP2. This
gene was also accurately mapped; it was shown to be a member of a
previously unidentified Hcr9 locus, now designated the ‘Orion’
gene cluster. The study demonstrates that functional Cf genes
can be located on several distinct Hcr9 clusters on the short
arm of tomato chromosome 1 and that these Hcr9 loci are highly
Introducing the microbial salicylic acid
pathway into plants. Influence on plant gene expression and pathogen
resistance. Prof.dr. J.F. Bol, prof.dr. R. Verpoorte (promotors),
IMP-LU, Leiden, 19 October 2000, 145 pp.
After the recognition of invading pathogens,
plants activate the biosynthesis of salicylic acid (SA), resulting in
a 500-fold increase in the level of this plant hormone. Subsequently,
SA mediates the expression of numerous plant defense genes. Available
evidence indicates that plants synthesize SA along the phenylpropanoid
pathway, which involves the conversion of chorismic acid into
phenylalanine followed by five enzymatic steps that are poorly
characterized. A number of bacteria are able to convert chorismic acid
into SA in two enzymatic steps by making use of the enzymes
isochorismate synthase and isochorismate-pyruvate lyase. Bacterial
genes encoding these two enzymes were put under the control of the
CaMV 35S promoter and introduced in the tobacco genome. When the
bacterial enzymes were targeted to the plant chloroplasts, the
transgenic plants accumulated SA at levels exceeding the levels in
control plants by 500 to 1000 fold. The transgenic plants
constitutively expressed a number of defense genes and showed an
increased resistance to infection with Tobacco Mosaic Virus and the
fungus Oidium lycopersicon (powdery mildew).
Overexpression of SA did not interfere with the ethylene-mediated
expression of wound-responsive plant genes.
Towards onions and shallots (Allium cepa
L.) resistant to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua
Hübner) by transgenesis and conventional breeding. Prof.dr. E.
Jacobsen (promotor); dr. C. Kik, dr. F.A. Krens (co-promotors), WU,
Wageningen, 20 November 2000, 146 pp.
This thesis describes the development of
onions and shallots (Allium cepa L.) resistant to beet
armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) via genetic transformation
and via molecular marker-assisted breeding. Because no high level of
resistance was found in A. cepa and its wild relatives, a
marker-assisted breeding approach was abandoned and emphasis was laid
on the development of a transformation system. A reliable and
efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system both for
onion and shallot was developed with two different strains
EHA105(pCAMBIA1301) and LBA4404(pTOK233). This transformation system
can be used year-round. Transgenic plants from a total of 11
independent callus lines were molecularly characterized by means of
standard PCR, genomic DNA blot hybridization, and FISH (fluorescence
in situ hybridization). An adapator-ligation PCR (AL-PCR) followed by
sequencing of the genomic DNA flanking the T-DNA borders was
developed. The AL-PCR patterns obtained were specific and
reproducible. The results showed how T-DNA integration took place and
also gave insight into the number of T-DNA copies present. After
cloning and sequencing the AL-PCR products, the junctions between
plant genomic DNA and the T-DNA insert were analysed in detail. We
concluded that, in the case of the introduction of resistance to beet
armyworm into onion and shallot, genetic transformation is the most
Molecular basis of biocontrol of tomato foot
and root rot by Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain PCL1391.
Prof.dr. E.J.J. Lugtenberg (promotor); dr. G.V. Bloemberg (co-promotor),
IMP-LU, Leiden, 7 June 2000, 167 pp.
Using scanning electron microscopy it was
shown that the Pseudomonas rhizosphere isolate P.
fluorescens WCS365, a good root-colonising biocontrol strain,
proliferates rapidly on tomato seeds and colonises tomato roots in
microcolonies. The molecular basis of the biocontrol action of the
tomato rhizosphere isolate P. chlororaphis PCL1391 was
elucidated. The AFF responsible for biocontrol was structurally
identified as phenazine-l-carboxamide (PCN). The complete PCN
biosynthetic operon (phz) including a novel biosynthetic gene (phzH)
was identified. In addition, genes regulating PCN production, namely
the quorum sensing genes phzI and phzR, a global
regulator GacS, and the repressor LexA were identified. Finally, the
construction of colonisation mutants showed that colonisation is
another essential factor for biocontrol activity of this strain.
Total synthesis of lactarane and marasmane
sesquiterpenes. Prof.dr. Æ. de Groot (promotor); dr. J.B.P.A.
Wijnberg (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 30 October 2000, 119 pp.
Lactarane and marasmane sesquiterpenes are
found in nature as metabolites from mushrooms of the genera Lactarius
and Russula. Many of these compounds posess interesting
biological activities and they are assumed to take part in the
mushroom’s chemical defence mechanism. The total synthesis of these
natural products was undertaken based on the base-induced
rearrangement of perhydronaphthalene-1,4-diol monosulfonate esters,
which was developed in our laboratory. This approach, in combination
with new methodology for the annulation of furan rings, led to the
synthesis of the lactarane furanether B. As a second objective the
synthesis of marasmanes was undertaken via a completely new tandem
rearrangement-cyclopropanation reaction. An interesting study of this
reaction sequence led to the optimal structural requirements, which
allowed a high yield one step key transformation, in which all
characteristic structural elements of the marasmane skeleton were
constructed. This new methodology was demonstrated with the total
synthesis of optically pure (+)-isovelleral.
Sexual behaviour of the green capsid bug.
Prof.dr. M. Dicke (promotor); dr. J.H. Visser (co-promotor), WU,
Wageningen, 15 September 2000, 156 pp.
The green capsid bug (Lygocoris pabulinus
(L.), Heteroptera; Miridae) is an unpredictable pest in fruit
orchards in Northwestern Europe. The sexual behaviour of this bug was
studied in detail, in order to identify its sex pheromone. Males are
more sensitive to pheromone-like compounds and females more sensitive
to plant compounds. At long range, males were attracted to virgin and
mated females, with and without plants. At close range, males were
attracted to female-specific, low volatile compounds present on female
legs. These compounds are also deposited on the substrate on which
females walk. At long and close range, males vibrate with their
abdomen when they perceive signals from females. For pest management,
another pheromone of L. pabulinus, i.e. the alarm pheromone,
may be exploited to prevent bug damage in fruit orchards.
Plant effects on biological control of spider
mites in the ornamental crop gerbera.
Plant characteristics affect both herbivorous
arthropods and their carnivorous enemies. Plant breeding programs
usually ignore that plant characteristics influence biological control
agents. However, partially resistant crops rely on biological control
in addition to the resistance. Gerbera is an important ornamental crop
and spider mites are one of the key pests. Gerbera cultivars vary
largely in resistance to spider mites which allows for resistance
breeding. However, there is no absolute resistance and so biological
control with carnivorous mites is essential for environmentally benign
gerbera production. Biological control agents are attracted to
spider-mite induced gerbera volatiles. The predators are seriously
hampered by gerbera trichomes. Both volatile induction and trichome
density vary between gerbera cultivars. This should initiate a
tritrophic approach in gerbera breeding.
The total synthesis of insect antifeedant
(-)-dihydroclerodin starting from R-(-)-carvone. Prof.dr. Æ. de Groot
(promotor); dr. B.J.M. Jansen (co-promotor), WU, Wageningen, 10 May
Diterpenoids possessing the clerodane
skeleton are widely distributed in nature. Of the clerodanes that were
tested for biological activity, many were found to possess interesting
properties, which vary from antifeedant to antiviral, antitumor,
antibiotic, antipeptic ulcer, and piscicidal activity. Noone has yet
succeeded in the total synthesis of highly oxidized clerodanes with a
chiral center at the difficult C-11 position. Much effort was put into
tackling this problem, but it has proven to be difficult to develop
strategies in which either a hexahydrofuro [2,3-b]furan fragment could
be attached to a completed decalin part or in which the decalin part
could be finished with an already attached hexahydrofuro[2,3-b]furan
moiety. We now have solved this problem by completion of the total
synthesis of the natural enantiomer of dihydroclerodin and lupulin C,
starting from R-(-)-carvone. In our strategy the
hexahydrofuro[2,3-b]furan moiety was introduced in an early stage of
the synthesis. The correct configuration at C-11 was established by
application of a remarkably diastereoselective Mukaiyama reaction. The
desired configuration at C-10 was obtained by catalytic reduction of
an intermediate enone. After annulation of the second ring, the
structural features at C-4, C-5, and C-6 were introduced. The
successful completion of the synthesis included a Chugaev elimination
to give the exocyclic double bond that is present in lupulin C.
Oxidation of this double bond with m-CPBA afforded dihydroclerodin.
For the completion of this synthesis new synthetic methodology was
developed for the preparation of C2,C3 functionalised chiral
cyclohexanones starting from R-(-)-carvone. These compounds were
converted into the corresponding cyano ketones, which were submitted
to Robinson annulation reactions with methyl vinyl ketone. The scope
and limitations of these annulations were investigated as well. A
series of highly functionalised chiral decalones were obtained which
can be used as starting compounds in total syntheses of
enantiomerically pure clerodanes.
For more information on the EPS see: http://www.wau.nl/eps/epshome.html
Plant-Microbe Interactions Heat up Down Under
Perth, Western Australia is becoming quite a
centre for Medicago truncatula research and is
attracting some new recruits from the Northern Hemisphere. Research at
the CSIRO, Floreat Park (Carol Andersson, Owain Edwards
and Karam Singh) on aphid resistance and soil pathogens
in Medicago will soon be boosted by the arrival of John Klinger
who has been doing some of the pioneering molecular studies on
aphid/plant interactions at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Simon
Ellwood, who was a key member of the team that cloned the Arabidopsis
mildew resistance gene RPW8 (Science (2001) 291:118) has
recently joined Richard Oliver’s new unit at Murdoch University
called the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens. Simon
will be working on the genetic analysis of resistance to foliar
necrotrophic pathogens of Medicago. These projects are in
addition to projects on Medicago bioinformatics (Matt Bellgard,
Geoff Dwyer and Mike Jones, based in the
WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Murdoch University), Rhizobium
(John Howieson, in the Centre for Rhizobium Studies,
Murdoch), and pathology (Martin Barbetti at Agriculture
Western Australia) ongoing in the region.
Dr. Seiji Ouchi to Retire
IS-MPMI member Dr. S. Ouchi will retire from
the professorship and chair of plant pathology at Kinki University,
Japan, as of March, 2001.
Dr. Ouchi received his Ph.D. degree from
Kyoto University. In 1963, he joined the faculty of Agriculture at
Kyoto University and from 1970 to 1985 was an associate professor of
plant pathology in Okayama University. Since 1985, he has been
professor and chair at Kinki University, where he has also served as
director of the Institute of Comprehensive Agricultural Sciences
(since 1991) and as assistant dean of Student Affairs (from 1991 to
1994). Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Ouchi and coworkers
worked on the induction mechanisms of susceptibility in the
interaction between the pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella and
pea. One of his current research efforts focuses on the development of
methodologies for introducing foreign genes into single cells of host
and pathogen. Dr. Ouchi has published over 150 scientific papers and
has served for more than a decade on the editorial boards of Physiological
and Molecular Plant Pathology and the Annals of the
Phytopathological Society of Japan. He has chaired sessions at
more than 25 international symposia and conferences, and was the
co-organizer of the 5th International Congress of Plant Pathology in
Kyoto in 1988, the US-Japan Cooperative Science Seminar in Hawaii in
1990, and the 1st Asian Conference on Plant Pathology in Beijing in
2000. In addition to IS-MPMI, Dr. Ouchi is a member of the American
Phytopathological Society and the Phytopathological Society of Japan,
for which he served as President in 1997. His colleagues in the IS-MPMI
wish him a joyful and rewarding retirement.
The European Union (INCO-DEV) has funded a
new programme entitled GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF MAIZE TO ENHANCE FOOD
SAFETY BY INTRODUCING RESISTANCE TO FUSARIUM MONILIFORME (known
as the “SAFEMAIZE” project). The program will run from
January, 2001, to December, 2003. The objectives are to develop
improved maize genotypes with increased resistance to Fusarium
moniliforme. Approaches include screening genotypes for
resistance; evaluation of the syngergistic effects of four plant
anti-fungal defense genes; the use of directed evolution by DNA
shuffling to produce new anti-fungal genes; and the generation and
testing of transgenic maize lines. Collaborators include scientists
from South Africa (Professor David Berger, University of
Pretoria, Dr. Santie de Villiers, ARC-Roodeplaat
Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, and Dr. Maureen Louw,
CSIR-Bio/Chemtek); Zambia (Irene Nawa, University of
Zambia); Italy (Professor Felice Cervone, Universita di
Roma “La Sapienza”); and the Netherlands (Dr. Olga Scholten,
Plant Research International).
New IS-MPMI Reporter Editorial Board member
The Reporter is pleased to announce that
Professor David Berger has joined the Editorial Board. Dr.
Berger is Associate Professor of Botany at the University of Pretoria,
South Africa. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postdoctoral Research Position
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
A postdoctoral position is available to join
a group investigating aspects of the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
and mechanisms of phosphate acquisition by plants [Selected
publications from the lab include: Ann. Rev. Plant Phys. and Plant
Mol. Biol., 50: 361-389 (1999), Plant Journal, 6:
531-542 (2000), Mol. Plant-Microbe Interactions 11: 14-22 (1998),
Plant Journal, 9 (4) 491-505 (1996); Nature, 378: 626-629 (1995);
Plant Journal, 6: 9-20 (1994).]
Projects available include gene expression
profiling using cDNA arrays and the analysis of T-DNA tagged mutants
of M. truncatula. The project is supported by the Noble
Foundation and the position is available for initially for two years
with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. Applicants
should have a strong background plant molecular biology and genetics.
To apply, send a letter outlining research interests, a CV and names
of 3 references to: Dr Maria J. Harrison, Plant Biology Division,
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK
73401; phone 580-223-5810, fax 580-221-7380, e-mail email@example.com.
Professorship and Chair
Racheff Chair of Excellence in Plant
Department of Ornamental Horticulture and
The University of Tennessee
The Department of Ornamental Horticulture and
Landscape Design in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural
Resources (CASNR) and the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES)
seeks outstanding applicants to fill a 12-month, tenure-track
Professorship and Racheff Chair of Excellence in Plant Molecular
Genetics. The Chair is expected to maintain an internationally
recognized and extramurally funded research program and will be
expected to participate in the graduate program in CASNR by advising
doctoral students and teaching a doctoral-level course in plant
genetics. The Chair’s research laboratory will be located in a
120,000 sq. ft. plant biotechnology building currently under
construction. The Chair will have opportunities to collaborate with
other CASNR scientists, as well as scientists in the College of Arts
and Sciences at The University of Tennessee and those at the Oak Ridge
National Laboratory. A start-up package is available, as well as
recurring funds for graduate students and postdoctoral research
Nominations should be sent to Dr. C. A.
Speer, Dean, CASNR/TAES, 2621 Morgan Circle, 126 Morgan Hall, The
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500. Telephone
865/974-6756; Fax 865/974-9329; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications consisting of a letter of
application, professional mission statement including teaching and
research philosophies, curriculum vitae, and names, addresses (postal
and e-mail) and telephone numbers of five references should be sent to
Dean Speer. The review of applications will begin on April 2, 2001,
and continue until a suitable candidate has been identified.
UT is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and
employment programs and services. Women and minorities are encouraged
Postdoctoral Position Available
Molecular genetics of Mycosphaerella
A Postdoctoral Associate is sought to study Mycosphaerella
fijiensis, the fungus that causes black Sigatoka disease of
bananas and plantains. The successful applicant will join a project
aimed at identifying and characterizing genes important in virulence,
pathogenicity, and mating of the fungus. The work will require
experience with molecular biology techniques, including
Southern/northern analyses, PCR amplification, library construction,
and DNA sequence analyses. This is an excellent opportunity to gain
experience in fungal molecular biology and genetics, while working on
a devastating worldwide pathogen of bananas and plantains.
Funding is available for 2-3 yr, beginning as
early as January 2001. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant
discipline and skills in molecular biology. A command of written and
spoken English is required, as well as excellent interpersonal and
organizational skills, and willingness to work as a team player.
Experience with filamentous fungi is preferred but not required;
scientists with training in other systems (e.g., plants) are welcome
Contact information for applications and
questions is listed below. To apply, please send cover letter,
curriculum vitae and the names of three references, including postal
and email addresses and telephone numbers. Please label email
attachments with your last name. Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant
Research is an equal opportunity employer.
Dr. Alice C. L. Churchill, Boyce Thompson
Institute for Plant Research,Tower Road, Cornell University, Ithaca,
New York 14853-1801 USA. E-mail: email@example.com, Fax: 607-254-2958.
Postdoctoral Position in Fungal Molecular Genetics
A postdoctoral position is available
immediately in the laboratory of Jonathan Walton,
DOE-Plant Research Lab and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology,
to work on histone deacetylases (HDAC) in maize, Arabidopsis,
and the maize pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum. HDAC is the site
of action of HC-toxin, a critical virulence determinant for C.
carbonum (Brosch et al., Plant Cell  7:1941). We have
characterized three HDAC genes in C. carbonum and one of them
regulates cell-wall-degrading enzyme expression and plant virulence.
Current research questions include (1) how does C. carbonum
protects itself against HC-toxin? (2) how do HDACs control fungal
virulence? (3) why does HDAC inhibition in maize cause disease
compatibility? Depending on interests of the successful applicant and
the state of the program at the time of starting, the research will
involve some combination of enzyme characterization and purification,
fungal and plant gene cloning and gene disruption, microarrays, and
natural products analysis. Funding is for one year with possibility of
renewal for up to three years. Contact: DOE-PRL, MSU, E. Lansing MI
48824; telephone 517-353-4885; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. MSU is an
affirmative-action equal-opportunity employer.
Postdoctoral Research Opportunity to study “Metabolites involved
in fungus-bacterium interactions in the rhizosphere”
UMR INRA (Institut National de la Recherche
Agronomique)/Université “Interactions Arbres-Microorganismes”,
UMR INRA/ENSAR “Biologie des Organismes et
des Populations appliquée à la Protection des Plantes”, Rennes,
(INRA Rennes) tel: 33 2 23 48 51 94, fax: 33 2 23 48 51 80, e-mail:
(INRA Nancy) tel: 33 3 83 39 41 49, fax: 33 3 83 39 40 69, e-mail: email@example.com
To identify the factors that explain
relationships among the microbial communities in the rhizosphere,
focusing on fungus-bacterium associations on the roots. The goal is to
better understand the role of beneficial rhizobacteria through
synergism with ectomycorrhizal symbiosis and through antibiosis
against phytopathogenic fungi. The study will be mainly focused on the
role of carbohydrates as discriminant compounds for the structure of
microbial communities. The research steps will be in parallel: (1) ) in
vitro et in situ assessment of carbohydrates in
fungi and bacteria, and their involvement in direct and indirect plant
growth promotion, (2) the creation of bacterial mutants (Pseudomonas)
impaired in the metabolism and/or the storage of carbohydrates and
analysis of the consequences of these mutations on root colonisation,
antagonism and synergism functions.
Frey P., Frey-Klett P., Garbaye J., Berge O.
et Heulin T. 1997. Metabolic and genotypic fingerprinting of
fluorescent pseudomonads associated with the Douglas fir-Laccaria
bicolor mycorrhizosphere. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:1852-1860.
Sarniguet A., Le Rouzic J., Fleury D. et
Gloux K. 1997 Relationships between antibiotic production, biocontrol
efficiency and osmoadaptation in Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5.
Pseudomonas ‘97, VI International Congress on Pseudomonas :
molecular biology and biotechnology, Madrid , Sept. 4-8, 1997.
The candidate must have a PhD in bacterial
genetics and physiology, some experience in bacteria-eukaryote (plant
or animal) relationships preferred; good knowledge of molecular
biology techniques (trangenesis, reporter genes, RT-PCR). Additional
skills in biochemistry and in separation and identification techniques
(HPLC, NMR) will be appreciated.
Two years from the second trimester of 2001.
The molecular biology work will be done in Rennes (west part of
France) and the biochemistry work in Nancy (east part of France).
July 10-15, 2001, Madison, Wisconsin USA.
Contact: The Congress and its program can be accessed at the Congress
or by contacting Sally
Leong at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2003 meeting will be in St.
Environmental Signalling: Arabidopsis as a
August 27-29, 2001, Utrecht University, The
Netherlands. Contact: Corné Pieterse, Section Phytopathology, Utrecht
University, E-mail: C.M.J.Pieterse@bio.uu.nl. The program and
registration form can be accessed at website www.bio.uu.nl/EPS-summerschool.
Deadlines: 15 April 2001 for reservation student housing, 1 June 2001
for registration and abstract submission.
The 14th John Innes Symposium.
September 5-8, 2001. The topic is “Chromosome
Dynamics and Expression.” Further information can be obtained
through the symposium website: http://www.jic.bbsrc.ac.uk/events/symposium
Biology of Type IV Secretion Processes:
Euroconference on the Medical and Ecological Implications.
September 7-12, 2001. Castelvecchio Pascoli, Italy. Type IV secretion
machineries mediate direct cell-to-cell transfer or secretion of
virulence factors from Gram-negative pathogens to modulate their hosts’
defense response. This strategy is used by many important human and
animal pathogens. Type IV secretion machineries also mediate the
spread of plasmids carrying antibiotic resistance genes and genetic
transformation of plants by Agrobacterium. Talks and posters will
presesnt recent work on basic aspects such as DNA processing, transfer
of virulence factors, host response and ecological implications.
Chariman: Christian Baron (University Munich), Vice-Chairman: David O’Callaghan
(INSERM, Nimes, France). The conference is open to researchers
world-wide, whether from industry or academia. Participation will be
limited to 100. The Conference Fee covers registration and full board
and lodging. Grants will be available, in particular for nationals
from EU or Associated States under 35. Deadline for applications: 30
April, 2001. For information, contact the Head of the EURESCO Unit:
Dr. J. Hendekovic, European Science Foundation, 1 quai Lezay-Marnesia,
67080 Strasbourg Cedex, France, telephone +33 388 76 71 35; fax 33 388
36 69 87; email email@example.com. Website:
EMBO Practical Course on the New Plant Model
November 19 - December 1, 2001. Institut des
Sciences Végétales CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.Organizers: Adam
Kondorosi (Gif-sur-Yvette) and Jean Dénarié (Toulouse). The aim of
the course is to provide participants with a basic training in
handling M. truncatula, a model leguminous plant, and
its use in the context of both molecular and cellular biological
studies, as well as for genetic and genomic approaches. Practical work
will include regeneration and transformation methods, genetic and
physical mapping, transcriptome analysis, bioinformatics, optical and
Instructors and lecturers: David Barker
(Toulouse), Anke Becker Bielefeld), Ton Bisseling (Wageningen),
Spencer Brown (Gif-sur-Yvette), Douglas Cook (Davis), Martin Crespi
(Gif-sur-Yvette), Fréderic Debellé (Toulouse), Dorus Gadela (Wageningen),
Pascal Gamas (Toulouse), Jérôme Gouzy (Toulouse), Maria Harrison
(Oklahoma, Ardmore), Thierry Huguet (Toulouse), Etienne Journet
(Toulouse), Daniel Kahn (Toulouse), Attila Kereszt (Szeged), György
Kiss (Szeged), Eva Kondorosi (Gif-sur-Yvette), 0lga Kulikova (Wageningen),
Peter Mergaert (Gif-sur-Yvette), Andreas Perlick (Bielefeld), Pascal
Ratet (Gif-sur-Yvette),Charles Rosenberg (Toulouse), Pierre Rouzé
(Gent), Beatrice Satiat-Jeunemaître (Gif-sur-Yvette), Hanh Trinh
(Gif-sur-Yvette), Kathryn VandenBosch (Minn. St. Paul). Applications:
Deadline for application is September 1, 2001. The number of
participants is limited to 16. For applicants from academic
laboratories lodging and meals during the course will be paid by the
EMBO course budget. The application, consisting of a short CV
including a list of publications, a short synopsis of current
research, and a short letter of recommendation from the supervisor or
group leader should be sent to: Dr. Adam Kondorosi, Institut des
Sciences Végétales CNRS, 1 Avenue de la Terrasse, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette,
France. Phone: 33 1 69 82 36 96, Fax: 33 1 69 82 36 95
E-mail: Adam.Kondorosi@isv.cnrs-gif.fr. More
information about the course and application can be found on the web
Michael P. Anderson
Oklahoma State Univ
Plant & Soil Sciences Department
Adam J. Bogdanove
Iowa State Univ
Plant Pathology Department
Lehman College/City Univ of New York
Marcus C. Chibucos
1520 Rosewood Dr
Bowling Green, OH
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Plant Biology Division
Univ of Sheffield
Animal & Plant Sciences Department
Sheffield, UNITED KINGDOM
Horticulture Research Intl
Warwickshire, UNITED KINGDOM
Univ de Lausanne
Lab De Biologie Microbienne
Jeanne M. Harris
Univ of Vermont
Natl Inst of Agric Sci & Tech RDA
Molecular Genetics Department
Suwon, SOUTH KOREA
Inst of Biochemistry
Plant Pathology Department
Akita Prefectural Univ
Ogata, Akita, JAPAN
Botany & Plant Pathology Department
West Lafayette, IN
Javier F. Plasencia
Natl Univ of Mexico
UNAM - Biochemistry Dept
Mexico City DF, MEXICO
Sarah L. Potter
Univ of Sheffield
Animal & Plant Sciences Department
Sheffield, S. Yorkshire, UNITED KINGDOM
Marilyn J. Roossinck
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Inc
Inst for Chemical Research
Imperial College At Wye
Biological Sciences Department
Wye, Kent, UNITED KINGDOM
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant
Physiology Golm, GERMANY
Renier Van Der Hoorn
Wageningen Agric Univ
Wageningen Agric Univ
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Botany & Plant Pathology Dept
West Lafayette, IN
Jan E. Leach
Kansas State Univ
Egbertus (Ben) Lugtenberg
Carol L. Bender
Oklahoma State Univ.
Immediate Past President
Barry G. Rolfe (ex-officio)
PMI-Group RSBS ANU
Pierre J. de Wit
Noel T. Keen
University of California - Riverside
Sharon R Long
Jeff L. Dangl
University of North Carolina
John Innes Centre
Herman P. Spaink
2001 Program Chair
Sally A. Leong (ex-officio)
IS-MPMI Reporter Editor
Jonathan Walton (ex-officio)
Michigan State University
Steven C. Nelson (ex-officio)
Amy L. Hope (ex-officio)
Editor-in-Chief - MPMI
Dr. Herman P. Spaink, Leiden University,
Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL
Leiden, The Netherlands
Senior Editors - MPMI
Jim Kronstad, Biotechnology Laboratory,
University of British Columbia, 237-6174 University Blvd., Vancouver,
B.C., Canada V6T 1Z3
Jane Glazebrook, Torrey Mesa Research
Institute, 3115 Merryfield Road, San Diego, CA 92121, U.S.A.
Christian Boucher, Laboratoire de Biologie
Moléculaire des Interactions, Plantes Microorganismes, CNRS-INRA,
Chemin de Borde Rouge, BP. 27, 31326 Castanet tolosan Cedex, France
Jens Stougaard, Laboratory of Gene
Expression, Dept. of Molecular and Structural Biology, University of
Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Michael Udvardi, Max Planck Institute of
Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Golm, Germany
Jim Schoelz, University of Missouri,
Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology, Columbia, MO 65211,
Dieter Haas, Laboratoire de Biologie
Microbienne, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Valerie m. Williamson, Department of
Nematology, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA
Maria j. Harrison, Plant Biology Division,
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Pkwy., Ardmore, OK
Francine Govers, Wageningen University,
Laboratory of Phytopathology, Binnenhaven 9, 6709 PD Wageningen, The
Associate Editors - MPMI
M. Arlat, INRA/CNRS, 31326 Castanet Cedex,
D. L. Beck, Mt. Albert Research Centre,
Auckland, New Zealand
N. J. Brewin, John Innes Institute, Colney
Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, U.K.
J. P. Carr, University of Cambridge,
Cambridge CB2 3EA, U.K.
Z. Chen, University of Idaho, Moscow
J. Dangl, University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill 27599-3208, U.S.A.
M. Djordjevic, Australian National
University, Canberra City 2601, Australia
X. Dong, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708,
D. Ebbole, Texas A&M University, College
Station 77843-2132, U.S.A.
G. Gheysen, Universiteit Gent, 9000 Gent,
M. Grant, Wye College, Wye, Ashford, Kent
TN25 5AH, U.K.
M. Holsters, Universiteit Gent, B-9000 Gent,
S. Kamoun, Ohio State University, Wooster
B. Kunkel, Washington University, St. Louis,
MO 63120, U.S.A.
S. Lommel, North Carolina State University,
Raleigh 27695-7616, U.S.A.
J. McDowell, Virginia Polytechnic Institute,
Blacksburg 24061-0346, U.S.A.
K. Mendgen, Universität Konstanz, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany
T. Nürnberger, Institute of Plant
Biochemistry, D-06120 Halle, Germany
J. Parker, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane,
Norwich NR4 7UH, U.K.
S. Perotto, Universita Torino, Torino 10125,
L. S. Pierson III, University of Arizona,
Tucson 85721, U.S.A.
J. Salmeron, Novartis Agribusiness
Biotechnology, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, U.S.A.
F. Sanchez, Institute of Biotechnology,
Ceingebi Unam, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62210, Mexico
S. C. Somerville, Carnegie Institute of
Washington, Stanford, CA 94305-4101, U.S.A.
J. Sweigard, Delaware Technology Park, Newark
N. D. Young, University of Minnesota, St.
Paul 55108, U.S.A.
The International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions