Arabidopsis thaliana (mouse-ear cress) infected with Golovinomyces orontii (a species of powdery mildew)

The Clay lab is focused on understanding the molecular basis for the adaptive diversification of the plant innate immune system, which is based on the perception and production of small molecules, and rivals the mammalian innate immune system in combating pathogenic infections. In particular, we are interested in understanding how pathogen discrimination is achieved through a molecular pattern recognition system, and how the chemical outcomes of secondary metabolic pathways are diversified and functionalized. More...

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