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Lorenz Oberkofler (Doctoral student)

Lorenz Oberkofler

Doctoral student

Project description:

The ascomycete Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of grey mould disease in many crop plants, produces small non-coding RNAs (Bc-sRNAs) that translocate into plant cells during infection and hijack host RNA interference (RNAi) pathways to suppress host immunity genes. This mechanism has been described as cross-kingdom RNAi (Weiberg et al., Science, 2013). I am interested in understanding the role of such pathogen small non-coding RNAs during plant-pathogen interactions, in particular how pathogen RNAs are delivered into plant cells to suppress host immunity genes. One hypothesis is that Botrytis small RNAs are encapsulated into extracellular vesicles (EVs), allowing a protection during the transport and delivery through the host cell membrane.