Pathogen-induced disease resistance in plants
Dr. Delaney received his Ph. D. in Botany at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1989, and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Joanne Chory at the Salk Institute in San Diego, CA. In 1992 he joined John Ryals’ group at the Ciba Plant Molecular Genetics Lab in Research Triangle Park, NC, where he examined the plant innate immune system. In 1995 he joined the plant pathology faculty at Cornell University, where he continued his work on plant disease resistance. Dr. Delaney joined the Department of Botany at UVM in 2003. His current research employs molecular genetic, genomic, and biochemical tools to elucidate disease resistance pathways in plants.
Plants employ several forms of pathogen-induced defenses that protect them from infection and aid in their recovery from disease. Our research is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms by which these pathways are controlled, and at defining the effectors that act against microbial attack. For this work, we employ the model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is especially well suited for these studies due to the wealth of sophisticated molecular genetic tools that have been generated for this plant, availability of a complete genome sequence, as well as the existence of a wide range of pathogens. Arabidopsis has been shown to express Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR), a pathogen-induced defense system that is regulated by the accumulation of salicylic acid and which requires the NIM1/NPR1 gene product for its action in inducing resistance. We have worked on the SAR pathway and shown that phosphorylation of NIM1is likely to play a regulatory role in SAR. We also work on another pathway controlled by the SON1 gene product. We discovered SON1 in a genetic suppressor screen of nim1-1 mutants. The SON1 protein is likely to be a component of an SCF-ubiquitin ligase complex, which suggests that son1-mediated resistance is controlled by targeted, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Much of our current work is aimed at examining the mechanism for SON1's action in plants. Other work in the lab is pursuing study of additional defense pathways in plants.
Peronospora parasitica sporulating on an Arabidopsis leaf
Confocal image of P. parasitica conidiophore and and Arabidopsis trichome
Delaney, T. P. (2004). Salicylic Acid. In Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action! 3rd Edition. P. J. Davies (Ed.) (Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers).
Kim, H.S. and Delaney, T.P. (2002) Arabidopsis SON1 regulates a novel induced defense response independent of both salicylic acid and systemic acquired resistance. Plant Cell 14(7): 1469-82.
Kim, H.S. and Delaney, T.P. (2002) Over-expression of TGA5, which encodes a bZIP transcription factor that interacts with NIM1/NPR1, confers resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana to Peronospora parasitica. The Plant Journal 32: 151-63.
Buell, C. R., Joardar, V., Lindeberg, M., Selengut, J., Paulsen, I. T., Gwinn, M. L., Dodson, R. J., Deboy, R. T., Durkin, A. S., Kolonay, J. F., et al. (2003). The complete genome sequence of the Arabidopsis and tomato pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100, 10181-10186.
Delaney, T.P., St.-Pierre, B., Li, Z. and Argueso, C., (2006) Identification and analysis of multi-layered disease resistance pathways in Arabidopsis. In Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions , Vol. 5. F. Sánchez, C. Quinto, I.M. López-Lara, and O. Geiger (eds.) Intl. Soc. for Molec. Plant-Microbe Interactions. Merìda, Mexico, pp. 247-253. IS-MPMI Link
* indicates equal contribution
NSF-CAREER The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards for new faculty members. The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. (1997-2002)
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