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Giuseppe Trotta

Global drivers of gene regulation in response to biotic stress

Plant’s survival and reproduction is depending on their capability to recognize dangerous microorganisms and to tackle their attacks. Plants are capable to recognize pathogens due to a complex system based on resistance genes (R-genes). Expression of resistance genes should be strictly regulated, but unexpected results emerged from a bioinformatic analysis revealing that among these genes some of them are constantly expressed even without pathogen treats. On one hand, constant expression of resistance genes ensures a rapid response, but on the other hand it is costly in terms of fitness and resource allocation.

This project aims to shed light on resistance genes regulation in Solanum lycopersicum (cultivated tomato).

The questions that are supposed to be answered during this project are:

  • What role are up-stream sequences playing in the regulation of these genes?
  • How did these genes evolve?
  • What is the evolutive reason of constant expression of a specific cluster of R-gene?

The results of this project aim to open new frontiers for breeding and population genetic studies.

Starting date: 01.11.2022 / Doctoral Researcher - DAAD GSSP Scholarshipholder

Thesis committee members: Laura Rose, tba