Catherine is researching overlap between colonisation by symbionts and infection by pathogens.
She is particularly interested in whether pathogens have evolved to exploit symbiotic pathways to facilitate their infection.
Catherine’s research involves Mlo, a gene which confers susceptibility to powdery mildew infection.
She is investigating the role of Mlo during colonisation by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
Mlo may be “bifunctional”, involved in supporting fungal accommodation during both parasitism and symbiosis. Catherine is currently trying to unpick the molecular role of Mlo in fungal biotrophy.
Her research mainly involves work in barley and Medicago truncatula