BioISI Research Seminar

Looking underneath a multilayer’s strategy in plant immunity: grapevine downy mildew as a case study

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Por Andreia Figueiredo (PFG, BioISI/FCUL).

As sessile organisms, plants have developed multilayered strategies to overcome environmental constraints, particularly to cope with pathogens. Historically, it has been assumed that plants do not have an “immune system” but our vision has been altered over the past decades. The current knowledge points to a tightly controlled arms race, between plants and pathogens, with intricate regulatory networks acting from the first site of contact (normally the extracellular space) to epigenetic modifications.

Grapevine is one of the most important crops grown in temperate climates and the European wine industry contributes to 40% of the world grape production. The cultivated grapevine, Vitis vinifera, is prone to several diseases, being downy mildew one of the most devastating. Presently, the reduction of phytochemicals used to control pests and diseases is one of modern agriculture’s demands.

At GPS Lab we have developed an integrated approach to tackle the main viticulture problems within pathogen resistance and production sustainability. Through a systems biology approach, the main mechanism differentiating compatible and incompatible interactions are being unravelled. We have shown that lipids and proteases are on the spotlight in resistance events since they recognize pathogens and activate different signalling cascades.

Moreover, by exploring natural grapevine biodiversity, molecules that are able to enhance grapevine defense mechanisms may act as biocontrol and biomarkers. Ultimately, evaluation of soil restoration approaches through metagenomics will contribute with potential guidelines for the establishment of more sustainable practices.


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11h00
BioISI - Instituto de Biossistemas e Ciências Integrativas

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