November 2009

It’s not easy being a plant. There are any number of pathogens just waiting to attack you, and, being a plant, you can’t run away. Fortunately, plants can defend themselves, and the research group of Associate Professor Fumiaki Katagiri, Department of Plant Biology and MSI Associate Fellow, is studying how. Their cross-disciplinary research, which involves molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, reverse genetics, genomics, expression profiling, proteomics, structural biology, and computational biology, investigates how plants recognize the molecular signals of pathogen attack and how they then coordinate their defense responses. This work may lead to disease-control methods safer for humans and for the environment. The image at left is a method of visualizing relationships among mutant plants.