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Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


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The lecture entitled "Utilizing the Potato Genome for Applied and Fundamental Research into Diverse Aspects of Disease Resistance" will take place on Tuesday, 7 June 2016, at 2 PM at the Biological center, Večna pot 111, Ljubljana, lecture room B4.


Potato is the most important non-cereal food crop worldwide and consumed by more than a billion people. Pests  and pathogens represent  a serious  and continuing threat to potato production. Some of the  most widespread  and  economically  significant diseases  are  late  blight,  nematodes  and  viruses.  We  have developed complementary strategies to control diseases and to study the molecular processes that lead to resistance or susceptibility.

The ability to withstand multiple biotic and abiotic stresses is critical for wild potatoes. With the availability of  significant  germplasm  resources  including  the  Common wealth  Potato  Collection  (CPC)  at  the  James Hutton  Institute  and improved  genomics  methods,  the  potential  to  exploit  natural  biodiversity  is considerable to secure potatoes as a major food source in the future.

Sequencing the potato genome has provided unprecedented insight into the distribution and organisation of genes that underpin resistances. We have developed a number of gene-specific target enrichment and sequencing platforms to more rapidly map and clone functional pattern-recognising receptors as well as NB-LRR genes.

We have generated  a comprehensive transcriptional reference  map of  the  early potato responses to the defence hormones abscisic acid, epibrassinolide, ethylene, salicylic acid and methyl-jasmonate. Identified marker genes are utilised to aid the functional characterisation of pathogen effector and to ascertain the mode of action of novel elicitor compounds.

Applied outcomes of this research are currently being exploited with the help of industrial partners.