Understanding sick plants

By Professor Wenbo Ma

Professor Wenbo Ma joined The Sainsbury Laboratory in 2020 as a Senior Group Leader.

Professor Ma’s group studies how the interaction between plants and microbes can lead to plant disease. Plant diseases have a devastating impact on agriculture, so understanding how pathogens become virulent and how plants develop immunity is critical for our future sustainability.

This video explores her career and the importance of supporting the next generation of scientists. Professor Ma works on two major pathogen systems. First of all, she studies Phytophthora, an oomycete pathogen that causes a wide range of diseases.

Late blight of potato is a devastating disease globally and remains one of the most serious crop diseases in the UK. Another focus of her research is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacterium responsible for citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as citrus greening. This devastating disease is the major threat of citrus production across the world.