Dynamics of the Botrytis secretome
Matthias Hahn – Frederik Sommer/Michael Schroda – Timo Mühlhaus – Christoph Garth
The grey mould fungus Botrytis cinerea is an important plant pathogen which colonizes and destroys the tissue of many host plants. The molecular mechanisms of the infection process are still incompletely understood. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the fungus secretes of a variety of proteins which trigger host cell killing and cell wall degradation. Based on a recently finished, high resolution genome sequence of B. cinerea, we have started a comprehensive analysis of the B. cinerea in silico and in vivo secretome. We are investigating the time course of gene activation and secretion of infection-related proteins using quantitative transcriptomics and proteomics tools, to understand their coordinate regulation during the infection process. Based on these data, we want to identify proteins with virulence-promoting and phytotoxic activity, study their interaction with host proteins, and analyse the host responses they provoke. Because of the redundant nature of the virulence mechanisms of Botrytis, we are developing CRISPR-Cas based genome editing tools which will allow to perform multiple knock-outs of candidate virulence factors and to evaluate their contributions to the infection process.