Robert Malinowski “Integrated approach for deciphering the mechanism leading to shift in cell proliferation/differentiation balance accompanying clubroot infection” SONATA BIS 2013-2017

Due to limited sources of resistance every year Plasmodiophora brassicae infection results in devastating losses in economicallyimportant crops like oilseed rape and cabbage. This obligatory pathogen of the Brassicaceae family species use very sophisticated mechanisms in order to exploit and modify plant endogenous regulatory pathways turning this way plants into factories producing and supplying food for the pathogen. As a consequence of infection reprograming of plant morphogenesis occurs and development of galls on the underground part of plants and disturbance in vascular tissue formation can be observed. Eventually pathogen-driven imbalance in cell proliferation/differentiation processes leads to wilting and disintegration of the entire underground part of a plant. Understanding of the mechanism controlling this reprogramming remains obscure. The main aim of this project is to underpin endogenous regulatory mechanisms of the plant exploited by P. brassicae influencing the host morphogenesis and nutrition balance. This will involve extensive study of cell cycle progression and proliferation/differentiation balance in infected plants combined with analysis of changes in sugar metabolism and allocation as well us studies on the role of cytokinins in this process. In order to accomplish this task combination of molecular biology approaches (including targeted inducible gene expression manipulation) as well as biochemical techniques (phosphorylation and protein interaction) will be used. Results of these studies will be integrated with observations of cellular changes what will facilitate the holistic view of the plantpathogen interaction. The project will provide insight into understanding plant mechanisms regulating cell fate and proliferation and will help to generate new strategies for future work on increasing plant tolerance to P. brassicae.