How do bacteria hack the immune system of plants?


About the research

Like humans, plants are constantly attacked by diseases. Joren De Ryck (VIB - UGent) does research on a bacterium called Ralstonia, which can infect and kill all these crops in a few weeks time. He wants to find out how we can develop crops that are resistant to the disease.

Joren De Ryck
UGent - VIB

In the soil we walk on, there's an intense battle going on. Not only between microorganisms (such as fungi and bacteria), but also between microorganisms and plants. During his thesis, Joren De Ryck investigated the interaction between benign bacteria and plants. On the other hand, he also wanted to know more about the interaction between malignant bacteria and plants. How can one bacterial species cause more than 200 plant species to wilt in a matter of weeks? Therefore, during his PhD, he examines the interaction between a malignant bacterium, called Ralstonia solanacearum, and tomato.

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