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One of major goals in studying plant-fungal pathogen interactions is to identify and characterize new mechanisms of anti-fungi defenses in plants, especially from a natural system that plants still maintain their defense systems and actively interact with their native pathogens. For this aim, a fungal disease outbreak, which was reported in native Nicotiana attenuata populations provided an excellent opportunity. During my master thesis, I have isolated, cultured and characterized the fungi species that associated with this fungal disease outbreak and established the wild pathosystem in N. attenuata (Schuck et al, 2014). Based on this native N. attenuata – fungi pathosystem, my PhD thesis aimed on searching for new mechanisms involved in plant-fungal pathogen interactions. Specifically, I focused on following three objectives:
• An anti-fungi mechanism mediated by trophic interactions: To characterize the native microbes that contributed to the induce resistance of N. attenuata to fungal pathogens.
• Phytohormones involved in defenses against fungal pathogen. To investigate role of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid signaling in defense of N. attenuata against native pathogens.
• Plant trichome metabolites involved in constitutive defenses against fungal pathogens. To study ecological functions and genetic basis of O-acyl sugars in N. attenuata.
last updated on 2017-01-05