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Ashfaq Ali


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Defence and signalling in Potato-Phytophthora infestans interactions


  • Ashfaq Ali

Summary, in English

Potato is one of the major food crops and its yield is severely affected by late blight disease caused by

Phytophthora infestans. P. infestans has the ability to manipulate plant defence signalling by secreting effector

molecules causing so called effector triggered susceptibility. Some plants can recognize these effectors via

resistance proteins that reactivate plant defence and lead to effector triggered immunity. This thesis discusses

identification and analysis of field-pathological relevant potato material for resistance against P. infestans. The

two selected potato clones were shown to be resistant, in fields with diverse P.infestans populations, and in

growth chambers with a highly virulent Swedish P.infestans strain. They have slightly different resistance

reaction at phenotypic and molecular level. One of the two resistant potato clones (SW93-1015) showed an

unusual reduction in hypersensitive reaction expansion and part of the induced defence system was

constitutively expressed in this potato clone. These two resistant potato clones and the susceptible cultivar

Desiree were studied by a combination of quantitative proteomics assisted with newly generated sequence data,

and genome wide transcriptomics. A number of putative effector-targets in the potato secretome, often single

members of large gene families were identified. These studies have also provided us with insight to

components involved in successful plant defence amid hypersensitive response. By analysing crossing

populations, a remarkably simple genetic resistance in the potato clone SW93-1015 was identified. We also

present a primary global phosphoproteomics analysis that led to identification of novel phosphosites and

phosphorylation of several P. infestans effectors. These findings lead us to a better understanding of plant

pathogen interactions in field relevant systems and hopefully will allow us to create more tools to overcome

this devastating crop disease.


  • Department of Biology

Publishing year




Document type



Department of Biology, Lund University


  • Biological Sciences


  • Phytophthora infestans
  • Plant defence
  • hypersensitive response
  • resistance
  • susceptibility



Research group

  • Cell and organism biology


  • Erik Andreasson


  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-404-1

Defence date

30 November 2012

Defence time


Defence place

Blue hall, Ecology Builiding.


  • Sabine Rosahl (Dr)