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Student Invited Speaker- Dr. Adam Steinbrunner
April 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
“Within Spitting Distance: A Plant Immune Receptor for Caterpillar Oral Secretions”
Assistant Professor at University of Washington. Dr. Steinbrunner is one of the world leading scientist researching pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and discovered the first receptor of HAMP (herbivore-associated molecular patterns) from chewing insects.
The plant innate immune system detects molecular patterns associated with diverse pests and pathogens. While plant mechanisms for recognition of microbial pathogens are well characterized, recognition of insect herbivores is less well understood. To address this gap, we have studied recognition of inceptin peptides found in oral secretions of Lepidopteran larval herbivores (caterpillars). Inceptins are only bioactive on specific legume species. We leveraged germplasm resources in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) to identify an Inceptin Receptor (INR) able to bind inceptin peptide and activate signaling and defense responses against chewing herbivores. I will discuss functional aspects of INR as an means to both amplify and tune the plant wound responses. I will also describe a recent investigation of the evolutionary origin of INR in Phaseoloid legumes. Finally, I will describe ongoing efforts to restore INR to soybean to provide a novel pest resistance trait. I will argue that phylogenomic and functional characterization of key immune receptors provides a roadmap for durable pest resistance.
Click here to discover more about his work. For more information about Dr. Steinbrunner’s seminar, please see the seminar announcement.