What mechanisms do plants have to fight pathogens? In this seminar, Dr. Sheng-Yang He explores plant-pathogen interactions and provides an overview of a plant’s basic immunological responses. As He explains, plants have “resistant” genes, which trigger the immune response after pathogenic infections (effector-triggered immunity). Also, plants immune system can be activated by the recognition of general patterns in pathogens (pattern-triggered immunity). Understanding these interactions could aid in the prevention of disease in plants, which would be beneficial to the agricultural industry and global food security.
In his second lecture, He provides evidence on the effect of environmental factors (e.g. humidity) in the development of disease in plants. In order to understand disease susceptibility, his laboratory studies the interaction that Arabidopsis has with the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae. His laboratory showed that an increase in temperature and humidity increase bacterial disease severity. By genetically creating a plant that is altered in its immune system and water homeostasis, they were able to define the minimal factors that bacteria need to infect the plant.
Dr. Sheng-Yang He is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He obtained his bachelor’s degree (1982) and a master’s degree in plant protection (1991) from Zhejiang Agricultural University in China. He pursued his graduate degree in plant pathology (1991) at Cornell University and continued his post-doctoral… Continue Reading