Peter van Esse
In agricultural practice worldwide, plant diseases regularly cause severe crop losses that devastate food production for millions of people.
These losses can have enormous humanitarian and economic costs, and the use of crop protection compounds to combat disease can pose environmental and human health risks. Therefore, durable disease resistance solutions are required to assure food security.
Within the 2Blades group, we perform translational research leveraging the advanced understanding of molecular host-pathogen interactions at TSL to deliver new solutions against relevant plant diseases.
These novel discoveries are subsequently developed into products for subsistence and commercial farmers via the 2Blades Foundation and commercial partners.
I am interested in delivering durable and sustainable solutions against agriculturally important plant pathogens such as the biotrophic fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of Asian Soybean Rust. To this end, I want to better understand the molecular dialogue between host and pathogen. This requires a better understanding of the components produced by a pathogen to induce susceptibility such as effectors, but also of plant disease resistance mechanisms such as NB-LRR mediated resistance.
In addition, I want to understand how pathogen populations are behaving in an agricultural setting since this is required to develop strategies that ensure durable deployment of novel resistance in the field.