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Dr. Desveaux’s studies how virulence proteins target specific host proteins to promote the infection process.
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Dr. Desveaux’s studies how virulence proteins target specific host proteins to promote the infection process.
EXPLORE >   Researchers >  Darrell Desveaux
Darrell Desveaux |
University of Toronto (UofT)
RESEARCH
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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Research
Dr. Darrell Desveaux’s research is based on determining the molecular mechanisms of bacterial virulence and plant disease resistance. Many gram negative bacterial pathogens use the type III secretion system to inject proteins directly into host cells. These type III effectors, or virulence proteins, often target specific host proteins to modify the cellular environment to favour the infection process. This can lead to an observable increase in the virulence of pathogens expressing specific type III effectors. Plants have evolved resistance (R) proteins to detect the modifications induced by effectors and subsequently mount effective defence responses to avoid the infection process. Consequently, certain bacterial effectors have evolved to mask the presence of others, making the pathogen undetectable by the plants surveillance system. Therefore, by injecting a suite of proteins into the host cell, bacteria induce a complex series of molecular modifications which determine the outcome of a plant-pathogen interaction: disease or resistance. Understanding the molecular events induced by type III effectors during a host-pathogen interaction requires the establishment of a network map of effector interactions and characterization of how the targets are modified. The similarities between plant and animal innate immune systems and the common virulence mechanisms used by bacterial pathogens of plants and animals make the experimentally advantageous plant-pathogen system an ideal model to study bacterial pathogenesis of eukaryotic organisms. The Desveaux research group is using proteomics, structural biology, chemical biology, genetics and biochemistry to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of pathogen virulence and host resistance. The research team is also screening libraries of small molecules for compounds that alter the susceptibility of Arabidopsis seedlings to infection by a virulent strain of P. syringae. Using chemical biology the team can utilize small molecules rather than genetic mutations to generate phenotypes of interest.
Researcher Information
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
25 Willcocks Street
ESC 3074
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 3B2
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Biography
Dr. Desveaux received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Montreal in 2002. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Plant-Microbe Systems Biology and is a member of the Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function (CAGEF). In 2006 Dr. Desveaux was awarded the Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Ontario government for his work in the structural proteomics of bacterial virulence.
Researcher Information
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
25 Willcocks Street
ESC 3074
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 3B2


Key Publications
Lewis JD, Abada W, Ma W, Guttman DS, Desveaux D. The HopZ family of Pseudomonas syringae type III effectors require myristoylation for virulence and avirulence functions in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Bacteriol. 2008 Apr;190(8):2880-91.
Schreiber K, Ckurshumova W, Peek J, Desveaux D. A high-throughput chemical screen for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 2008 May;54(3):522-31.
Nimchuk ZL, Fisher EJ, Desveaux D, Chang JH, Dangl JL. The HopX (AvrPphE) family of Pseudomonas syringae type III effectors require a catalytic triad and a novel N-terminal domain for function. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2007 Apr;20(4):346-57.
Researcher Information
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
25 Willcocks Street
ESC 3074
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 3B2


Intellectual Property

Researcher Information
Assistant Professor
Department of Cell and Systems Biology
25 Willcocks Street
ESC 3074
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 3B2
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CATEGORIES
Application Area
Agriculture
Disciplinary Focus
Experimental biology and chemistry, Informatics, theoretical biology and computer science
Research Paradigm
Focused-scope projects
Organism
Microorganism, Plant
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