Joanna’s research focuses on how a fungi exploit cells around an infection site.
Specifically, she is looking at what happens to plasmodesmata, which are tubes connecting plant cells, during infection.
Joanna’s project aims to discover if the proteins the fungus secretes into the plant cells, move from cell-to-cell via plasmodesmata.
She is also investigating if these proteins can reopen or modify these plasmodesmata.
She expresses these proteins tagged to fluorescent proteins in plants and uses confocal microscopy to determine their localisations and mobility.
Next she seeks to determine the function of these proteins during infection.