Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 12:20pm
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University
Jon Gonzalez is a graduate student in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Fungal and Oomycete Biology.
Cochliobolus heterostrophus and Setosphaeria turcica, closely related fungal pathogens of maize, differ in their nutritional interactions with their host. C. heterostrophus is a necrotroph, while S. turcica is a hemibiotroph, although they cause similar disease symptoms. This contrast provides an opportunity to explore virulence mechanisms of closely related pathogens differing in nutritional lifestyles. To this end, I am currently helping to resolve the origin and evolution of the genetically complex suite of C. heterostrophus genes responsible for biosynthesis of T-toxin, a small molecule that functions as a host-selective toxin. In the future, I will work to identify effectors involved in virulence of S. turcica.