The plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae causes disease in a large number of different plant species. Virulence is primarily achieved by the type III secretion system, which secretes and translocates effector proteins into the plant. Many of these effector proteins are believed to suppress host defense signaling. However recognition of these effector proteins by resistance (R) proteins induces a defense response. Genetic diversity in recognition can be used to help protect plants from infection. Seedling-based screens can identify new sources of resistance (Hassan et al. 2017). We use a wide range of plant species to investigate defense responses to P. syringae.
The Lewis lab seeks undergraduate students to pursue research on the genetic diversity of plant resistance to P. syringae. The candidate will participate in genetic screens to map resistance from wild tomato species. The candidate will work closely with the lab’s principal investigator, Dr. Jennifer Lewis, and team members.
The student should be strongly interested in learning and conducting basic research in plant pathology. The student should have taken BIO1A and BIO1B, and some advanced classes, for example microbiology, molecular biology, genetics or plant physiology. The student should be highly motivated, conscientious, able to work independently and as part of a team, and carry out experiments to completion. The research project is best performed with 3-4 hour blocks of time. The student must be able to come to the lab during normal hours (9am-6pm weekdays).