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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Unraveling mechanisms of effectiveness and specificity in potato immune signaling through innovative data acquisition and modeling

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.06.05  Biotechnical sciences  Biotechnology  Plant biotechnology 

Code Science Field
B006  Biomedical sciences  Agronomics 

Code Science Field
4.04  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agricultural biotechnology 
Keywords
potato, Potyviridae, Colorado potato beetle, synthetic biology, systems biology, biosensors, immune signaling, spatiotemporal analysis
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19116  PhD Špela Baebler  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  317 
2.  14360  PhD Mojca Benčina  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  393 
3.  34130  PhD Anna Coll Rius  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  164 
4.  36426  PhD Anja Golob Urbanc  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  32 
5.  12688  PhD Kristina Gruden  Biotechnology  Head  2019 - 2023  992 
6.  06628  PhD Roman Jerala  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2019 - 2023  1,203 
7.  36323  PhD Tjaša Lukan  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  127 
8.  52428  Sanjin Lulić    Technical associate  2019 - 2020 
9.  53734  Peter Pečan  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  17 
10.  34502  PhD Živa Ramšak  Biology  Researcher  2021 - 2023  121 
11.  55061  Tina Strmljan    Technical associate  2021 - 2023 
12.  39320  PhD Maja Zagorščak  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2019 - 2023  62 
13.  27522  PhD Anže Županič  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2019 - 2023  184 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,465 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,261 
Abstract
Understanding the interaction between plant and pathogens/herbivores is crucial to ensure long lasting and environmentally friendly system for plant protection. We have chosen potato, as one of the most important crops, its most economically important viral pathogens potato virus Y (PVY), and the most important insect pest Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata L.) as our study system. In plants, pathogen or pest attack initiates a complex signaling network, orchestrating massive changes in gene expression and extensive reprogramming of metabolism. For an efficient response the activation of plant immunity must be rapid, efficient and targeted. The combination of signaling modules that is elicited in a specific pathosystem differs in composition, magnitude and timing, leading to specificity of response with the outcome that can be beneficial either for the plant or for its attacker. To disentangle the complexity of immune signaling network we need to understand the dynamical properties of the system. This will be achieved using highly interdisciplinary approach. We will develop sensor potato plants that will allow in-vivo precise monitoring of spatiotemporal response of plant cells to pathogen and pest attack. The data generated using this approach will be suitable for mathematical modeling of responses, following the paradigm of systems biology. Altogether this will represent a breakthrough towards understanding the signaling mechanisms of defense response. Moreover, the new methodologies developed within the project will enable faster implementation of synthetic biology in plant sciences, which is currently lagging behind in the availability of their building blocks.
Significance for science
Studies of immune signalling have in the past often lead to contradictory conclusions. One example is the interaction between JA and SA signalling, with the majority of results showing antagonism while in some studies synergism was reported. Moreover, the same components of immune signalling were found to respond both to susceptible as well as in resistant pathosystems, albeit with different timing and intensity. This shows that the network properties are important for the outcome of the interaction. With the proposed project we will, for the first time, enable insights into dynamics of the response using a combination of synthetic and systems biology. Altogether this will represent a breakthrough towards an understanding of the signalling mechanisms in defence.   The project will, with the development of vectors, protocols and novel sensing potato plants, open new research directions. The originality of the proposal lies in using fluorescent sensor technology to monitor in vivo precise spatiotemporal response of immune signalling network. In addition to high-resolution spatiotemporal monitoring of response, sensors will allow collection of cells in the same stage of response and in the next step their in-deep non-targeted analysis. Data collected at high spatiotemporal-resolution will, through mathematical modelling, give an insight into the complex immune signalling network regulation.  This knowledge will be further used to design new strategies for crop protection, based on quantitative and more sustainable form of resistance. The developed sensor plants will be easily used to study plants exposed to other stresses and also a combination thereof, which will lead to improved understanding of the plant performance in field conditions. Using such approach, plants resilient to different environmental stresses in long term can be designed. The results of the proposed project will also facilitate the implementation of synthetic biology concepts in plant sciences. Newly constructed vectors and sensors are applicable in any area of plant sciences and will contribute both to developments in plant synthetic biology as well as in different biotechnological applications.
Significance for the country
Studies of immune signalling have in the past often lead to contradictory conclusions. One example is the interaction between JA and SA signalling, with the majority of results showing antagonism while in some studies synergism was reported. Moreover, the same components of immune signalling were found to respond both to susceptible as well as in resistant pathosystems, albeit with different timing and intensity. This shows that the network properties are important for the outcome of the interaction. With the proposed project we will, for the first time, enable insights into dynamics of the response using a combination of synthetic and systems biology. Altogether this will represent a breakthrough towards an understanding of the signalling mechanisms in defence.   The project will, with the development of vectors, protocols and novel sensing potato plants, open new research directions. The originality of the proposal lies in using fluorescent sensor technology to monitor in vivo precise spatiotemporal response of immune signalling network. In addition to high-resolution spatiotemporal monitoring of response, sensors will allow collection of cells in the same stage of response and in the next step their in-deep non-targeted analysis. Data collected at high spatiotemporal-resolution will, through mathematical modelling, give an insight into the complex immune signalling network regulation.  This knowledge will be further used to design new strategies for crop protection, based on quantitative and more sustainable form of resistance. The developed sensor plants will be easily used to study plants exposed to other stresses and also a combination thereof, which will lead to improved understanding of the plant performance in field conditions. Using such approach, plants resilient to different environmental stresses in long term can be designed. The results of the proposed project will also facilitate the implementation of synthetic biology concepts in plant sciences. Newly constructed vectors and sensors are applicable in any area of plant sciences and will contribute both to developments in plant synthetic biology as well as in different biotechnological applications.
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