Biochemistry and molecular biology of host-parasite interactions.
We are attempting to understand the interactions that occur between a plant host and its microbial parasite at the molecular level. Specifically, we are investigating diseases caused by fungal pathogens which produce host-selective toxins. Because of the unique specificity of these compounds, they offer a clearly definable biochemical point of entry into complex parasitic associations. Using this approach we are identifying specific genes and their products which appear to contribute to fungal pathogenesis and host disease resistance and susceptibility and to describe the physiological responses that underly these plant responses.