SPLS Tuesday Seminar - Evolutionary and biological basis of bacterial plant tissue-specificity

Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, Assistant Professor
Emerging Infectious Disease Ecology, Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University
Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 4:00pm
Marley 230 or Zoom https://arizona.zoom.us/j/83941552191 password: spls2022

Abstract: Plant leaves are living landscapes for microorganisms such as bacteria. These foliar bacteria often colonize specific host tissues and cell types, and for pathogens, this tissue-specificity often dictates important outcomes for plant health. Vascular pathogens travel long distances through host veins leading to life-threatening, systemic infection. In contrast, non-vascular microorganisms remain restricted and produce localized symptoms. The molecular requirements for microbial tissue-specific plant colonization that result in systemic or non-systemic infection remain poorly understood. Our team works on defining the molecular and evolutionary drivers of tissue-specific colonization of plants. We determined that secreted proteins (e.g. cellulases) govern tissue-specific entry and inner leaf colonization, and these factors played important roles in evolution of bacterial leaf colonization. New advances will be presented around the theme of regulation vascular leaf colonization.
Speaker Bio: Jonathan Jacobs is an Assistant Professor of Emerging Infectious Disease Ecology in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. Jonathan is an expert in plant diseases caused by bacterial species in the genera Xanthomonas and Ralstonia and is particularly interested in using genomics plant pathology Len surveillance. Jonathan graduated with a B.S. (triple major in Bacteriology, Genetics and Spanish) and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. For his postdoctoral research, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier, France and a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University. He was also awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to perform research at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. His team focuses on the basis of bacterial colonization of plants. They use molecular and genomic based approaches to understand tissue-specificity of plant pathogenic Xanthomonas species. They motivated to translate genomics for diagnostics and also are partnering with Ohio State’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic and the Ohio Department of Agriculture to develop metagenomic based approaches for plant pathogen detection.