Mina investigates plant-microbe interaction via plasmodesmata in Christine Faulkner Group.
Especially, Mina keens to elucidate their interaction by using microscopy.
Plasmodesmata is a symplastic channel in plant cell, and small molecules such as RNA, nutrient and small protein are transfer via plasmodesmatas. Thus, plasmodesmata is a very important cell-to-cell communication tools in plant cells covered with the cell wall.
Plasmodesmatas are also involved in defence responses. During pathogen attacking, plant wants to close plasmodesmatas to prevent pathogens from infection spread in plant cell.
On the other hands, interestingly, pathogens want to open plasmodesmatas to infect easily. To avoid PD closure induced, pathogen could use their effector proteins during their infection.
Christine’s group are trying to find symplastic mobile effectors of fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum higginsianum, which can modify the PD function.
To find effector candidates, Mina established various imaging system for in planta effector screening using a fluorescent microscopy and they continue to do screening now