Deakin University
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Defining plant resistance against Phytophthora Cinnamomi and application of resistance to revegetation

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conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jim RookesJim Rookes, J Cullum, Tiffany Gunning, Laura HarmanLaura Harman, S Markham, L Slocombe, Marion Wright, David CahillDavid Cahill
Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil borne plant pathogen that causes devastating disease in many Australian ecosystems and threatens the survival of native flora. Compared with the number of plant species that are susceptible to P. cinnamomi, only a few species are known to be resistant and control of this pathogen by chemicals is difficult and undesirable in natural systems. The major aim of our research is therefore to characterise natural resistance and determine which signalling pathways and defence responses are involved. Our examination of resistance is being approached at several levels, one of which is through the use of the model plant, Arabidopsis. Previously, Arabidopsis had been shown to display ecotypic variation in responses to P. cinnamomi and we are exploring this further in conjunction with the analysis of a bank of Arabidopsis defence pathway mutants for their responses to the pathogen. These experiments will provide a fundamental basis for further analysis of the defence responses of native plants. Native species (susceptible and resistant) are being assessed for their responses to P. cinnamomi at morphological, biochemical and molecular levels. This research also involves field-based studies of plants under challenge at various sites throughout Victoria, Australia. The focus of this field-based research is to assess the responses of individual species to P. cinnamomi in the natural environment with the goal of identifying individuals within susceptible species that display 'resistance'. Understanding how plants are able to resist this pathogen will enable strategies to be developed to enhance species survival and to restore structure and biodiversity to the ecosystems under threat.



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Brisbane, Qld.

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2006, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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ComBio 2006 : Proceedings of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Combined Conference

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