In agricultural practice worldwide, plant diseases regularly cause severe crop losses that devastate food production for millions of people.
I am interested in delivering durable and sustainable solutions against agriculturally important plant pathogens such as the biotrophic fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of Asian Soybean Rust. To this end, I want to better understand the molecular dialogue between host and pathogen. This requires a better understanding of the components produced by a pathogen to induce susceptibility such as effectors, but also of plant disease resistance mechanisms such as NB-LRR mediated resistance.
In addition, I want to understand how pathogen populations are behaving in an agricultural setting since this is required to develop strategies that ensure durable deployment of novel resistance in the field.