Our team studies cereals-pathogens interactions, with a focus on the regulation of plant secondary metabolism.
Mycotoxin detoxification processes as a source for FHB resistance in cereal species
We used the model cereal species Brachypodium distachyon to determine the role of enzymes involved in plant detoxification processes (cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYP), UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT), glutathione-S-transferases (GST)) in resistance to the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum. The most advanced work has been performed on a UGT-encoding gene (Pasquet et al., 2015) and has show a direct relationship between early and efficient DON glucosylation and FHB resistance.
Functional genomics analyses performed on B. distachyon allow focusing on interesting candidate genes for studies in cereal crops such as bread wheat : genetic transformation programs or screening of natural genetic variability. Such analyses have started for the UGT conjugating DON.
Priming and defense against plant pathogens
A secondary project of the team concerns the priming of plant defense. A better knowledge of the molecular mechanism(s) of priming is instrumental in improving the plant’s ability to cope with different activators of defense more efficiently.