I’m currently working on plant-fungal pathogen interaction. Botrytis cinerea (grey mold) is a generalist fungal pathogen with the ability to infect more than 400 plant species. By studying the interaction between this pathogen, different crop species and the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, we hope to understand the basis of its pathogenicity.
Chemical differentiation in hybridizing species
Hybridization is a widespread phenomenon in plants and animals that mix genomes of related species through reproduction. Hybridization gives populations the necessary variability to adapt to novel or extreme habitat and contributes to plant adaptation but also plant invasiveness. Among functional traits believed to contribute to plant adaptation, secondary metabolites involved in biotic and abiotic interactions represent excellent candidate for adaptive introgression. Hybridization was shown to increase chemical variability and diversity and occasionally lead to synthesis of novel compounds specific to hybrids. I studied hybridizing European Poplars (Populus alba, P. tremula and P. x. canescens) and the hybrid species Helianthus annuus texanus as models for tracking introgressing and/or novel traits in hybrids.