Rafał’s research project aims to investigate and underpin the working model of Pikp-1/Pikp-2/AVR-PikD system.
Plants have evolved a sophisticated immune system to defend themselves against pathogens. Part of this system relies on intracellular immune receptors (NLRs) that recognise pathogen effectors.
NLRs can function as single proteins, but sometimes they work in genetically linked pairs. Pikp-1 and Pikp-2 are an NLR pair from rice that confers resistance to the AVR-PikD effector, carried by Magnaporthe oryzae.
NLR pairs characterised to date share a similar mode of action based on negative regulation, but this does not seem to apply to Pikp-1/2 system.