Senior Scholar Award in Global Infectious Disease
Jack E. Dixon, Ph.D.
University of California - San Diego

Bacterial Pathogen Families that Function in Both the Animal and Plant Kingdoms

Our laboratory discovered that a pathogen bacteria that once caused one of the world’s most feared disease, the plague, and a pathogenic bacteria that causes several diseases in plants use a common family of virulence factors to attack their host (1). The fact that these virulence factors appear to use a common mechanism for pathogenesis in both plants and animals was completely unexpected. We think there must be other examples of common mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis shared by both the plant and animal kingdoms. Our work will use functional genomics, bioinformatics, and structure-function analysis to identify novel families of virulence factors that function in animal and plant kingdoms.

(1) F. Shao, P. Merritt, Z. Bao, R. Innes and J. E. Dixon,Cell 109, 575-588 (2002)

Contact Dr. Dixon.