Short description

The overall aim of this project was to set up technological basis for multiscale analysis of potato defence signalling. This will represent a basis for integration of systems biology and synthetic biology approaches aiming at the identification of key components of the immune response network. Potato is the world’s most widely grown tuber crop and the fourth most important food crop. Worldwide, the most economically important viral potato pathogens is the virus Potato virus Y (PVY), while its most important insect pest is the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata L.).
We have on one hand integrated existing knowledge into complex topological model of defence signalling in Arabidopsis. We have further translated this knowledge network to potato to allow biological interpretation of datasets and processes within this crop. We further established protocols for tissue dissection and for ‘omics’ analysis of small tissue samples. This task will in the future experiments allow for analysis of cells in the same state of response. We have also detected conserved and novel small RNAs and predicted their target mRNAs which will also be important for further analysis. This together will allow an integrated analysis of multiple molecular levels. In the last part of the project we setup system for studies of immune responses in multiway interaction setup. We have determined timings and spatial distribution of potato immune responses to infection with virus PVY and Colorado potato beetle. This part will allow for controlled studies of signalling dynamics in complex ecological systems.
Altogether this will contribute to the development of novel crop protection and breeding strategies and thus be useful to beneficiaries in the plant breeding and plant protection industries.

This project is financed by Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS).
Project ID: N4-0026
Duration: 1.1.2016 – 31.12.2017