We are dedicated to advancing fundamental knowledge of the interactions between plants and their pathogens, using state-of-the-art molecular methods in genetics, plant biology, genomics, cell biology, biochemistry, and microbiology. We build capacity in BSc, MSc and PhD students and postdoc researchers to help raise new generations of researchers and teachers. Together with the plant breeding industry, the agricultural and horticultural sectors, and other societal partners, we aim to translate fundamental knowledge and novel insights into solutions for societal problems.
Our main long-term research questions are:
- What determines a ‘compatible’ interaction between a plant and a pathogen – an interaction that results in disease symptoms?
- How are microbe or virus proliferation repressed by plant immunity – what defines immunity in addition to recognition of non-self?
- Can we ‘design’ plants so as to make them more resilient in hostile environments? Can we revive ‘broken’ resistance traits in a predictable manner?
- How do environmental conditions, agricultural practices and plant breeding drive evolution of pathogens?
- How can we use microbes to promote plant health and resiliance?