Melampsora pinitorqua / Melampsora larici-tremulae (c)
Melampsora pinitorqua / Melampsora larici-tremulae

(Kopie 1)

Improvement of poplar pathogen response und mycorrhization by modification of LysM proteins

Poplar perceive fungi via chitin receptors that recognize a particular pathogen-associated molecular pattern. The perception of chitin triggers an immune response in poplar that can lead to resistance against the invader. Also fitness of poplar should be increased by enhancement of mycorrhization.

Background and Objective

Poplar is grown in short rotation plantations for bioenergy production. During the entire time, the plantation is constantly exposed to various fungal pathogens, that can cause severe damages to the trees. Most of these harmful fungal pathogens in poplar are biotrophic rust fungi of the genus Melampsora. In particular, the cosmopolitan fungal species M. larici-populina is the largest threat for poplar plantations, causing annual growth losses of up to 50 percent.

Plants perceive fungi via chitin receptors that recognize a particular pathogen-associated molecular pattern. Essential components of these chitin-receptors are lysine motif "receptor-like-kinases "(LysM-RLKs). Analyses of this "chitin-signalling" in dicotyledonous plants reveal that enzymatically active and inactive LysM-RLKs need to interact with each other to form a functional receptor. The perception of chitin triggers an immune response in plants that can lead to resistance against the invader. On the other hand, fungal symbionts have to bypass or suppress this immune response, to achieve the establishment of a mycorrhization. In this respect, LysM-effectors which could be considered as modulators of the immune response can play an important role in the whole process. Further, the communication between the plant and the mycorrhizal fungus is facilitated by Myc factors, which are perceived by LysM receptors of the host.


In this project, we want to identify genes coding for LysM-RLKs receptors in poplar and LysM effectors in the mycorrhizal fungus Laccaria. These genes will be functionally characterized and tested in poplar to improve the immune response and simultaneously the mycorrhization potential of poplar. For this, we both will generate transgenic lines and apply the CRISPR / Cas9-technology for a targeted modification of selected LysM-RLKs receptor genes.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


10.2016 - 12.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publikationen zum Projekt

hits: 6

  1. Deecke K, Fladung M (2021) Melampsora-Resistenztests in Pappeln. AFZ Wald 76(4):26-29
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 341 kb
  2. Brügmann T, Polak O, Deecke K, Nietsch J, Fladung M (2019) Poplar transformation. Meth Mol Biol 1864:165-177
  3. Fladung M, Ewald D (2018) Biotechnologie schnellwachsender Baumarten. In: Veste M, Böhm C (eds) Agrarholz - Schnellwachsende Bäume in der Landwirtschaft : Biologie - Ökologie - Management. Wiesbaden: Springer Spektrum, pp 147-168, DOI:10.1007/978-3-662-49931-3_6
  4. Fladung M, Lipka V, Petutschnig E, Werner S, Teichmann T (2018) ChitoPop improvement of poplar pathogen response and mycorrhization by modification of LysM proteins. In: Conference Documents Plant 2030 Status Seminar 2018, February 5-7. pp 47-48
  5. Bartsch D, Bendiek J, Bräuning A, Ehlers U, Dagand E, Duensing N, Fladung M, Franz C, Groeneveld E, Grohmann L, Habermann D, Hartung F, Keilwagen J, Leggewie G, Matthies A, Middelhoff U, Niemann H, Petersen B, Scheepers A, Tebbe C, et al (2018) Wissenschaftlicher Bericht zu den neuen Techniken in der Pflanzenzüchtung und der Tierzucht und ihren Verwendungen im Bereich der Ernährung und Landwirtschaft : überarbeitete Fassung vom 23.02.2018 [online]. BVL; MRI; TI; BfR; FLI, 83 p, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 20.03.2018]
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1485 kb
  6. Fladung M (2017) Debate is failing Europe's geneticists. Nature 544:35