Group Björn Krenz

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Molecular Plant Virology

Research focus

  • Molecular biology of plant virus diseases
  • Interactome analysis of plant cell and virus
  • Mechanisms of plant virus resistance

The aim of our research is to analyze and characterize the molecular mechanisms and interactions between plant cell & virus. Our model virus Abutilon mosaic virus (AbMV) belongs to the plant pathogen family of Geminiviridae. It has the capacity to re-program the cell to it's favors by use of multifunctional virus proteins and interaction with host factors. We want to identify these functions and interaction partners with special focus on suppression of host pathogen response and intra- and intercellular viral transport to gain basic insights into virus infection and cellular functions.

Research projects

  • Molecular plant virology of geminiviruses

Geminiviruses are serious plant pathogens infecting dicotyledonous plants, among them important crop plants. They are characterized by small geminate particles containing single-stranded circular DNA molecules.

Because geminiviruses replicate in the nucleus, viral DNA has to cross the nuclear envelope and the plasmodesmata for systemic spread. Two genes are required for inter- and intracellular transport of bipartite begomoviruses: ORF BV1 (syn. BR1) encodes a nuclear shuttle protein (NSP), and ORF BC1 (syn. BL1) the movement protein (MP). The mechanism of geminiviral intra- and intercellular transport is still a matter of debate and the transport complex is unknown.

We want to identify host factors involved in viral intra- and intercellular transport by a proteomic approach to gain further insight in the underlying mechanism of virus movement.