Sylvain is a Doctoral Training Partnership PhD student in the Hogenhout Lab.
Sylvain is studying phytoplasma-plant interactions and is particularly interested in how phytoplasma effectors target plant transcription factors.
Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens that reside in the plant phloem and that are transmitted by sap-feeding insects, such as leafhoppers, planthoppers and psyllids.
They can induce dramatic symptoms in both important crops and wild plants, including stunting, yellowing, witches’ brooms (proliferation of branches), phyllody, virescence and hairy roots.
This is possible via the secretion of effector proteins in the plant that can interact and degrade conserved plant proteins. Sylvain’s project aims at better understanding these interactions to find durable crop resistance to phytoplasmas.