Cantu Lab at UC Davis

Department of Viticulture & Enology

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1. Fungal pathogenomics:

We apply NGS technologies and bioinformatics to study the mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis in plants.

Personnel: Abraham Morales, Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Katherine CH Amrine, Jerry Lee, Ella Allenbeck, Jeri Hoover

Relevant publications:
- Morales-Cruz A., Amrine K.C.H., Blanco-Ulate B.; Lawrence D.P., Travadon R., Rolshausen P., Baumgartner K., and Cantu D., 2015. Distinctive expansion of gene families associated with plant cell wall degradation, secondary metabolism, and nutrient uptake in the genomes of grapevine trunk pathogens. BMC Genomics 16: 469
- Jones L., Riaz S., Morales-cruz A., Amrine K.C.H., Mcguire B., Gubler W.D., Walker M.A., Cantu D.,2014. Adaptive genomic structural variation in the grape powdery mildew pathogen, Erysiphe necator. BMC Genomics 15: 1081
- Blanco-Ulate B., Morales-Cruz A., Amrine K.C.H., Labavitch J.M., Powell A.L.T., Cantu D., 2014. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of Botrytis cinerea genes targeting plant cell walls during infections of different hosts. Front Plant Sci 5: 1–16
- Block K.L., Rolshausen P., and Cantu D, 2013. In search of solutions to grapevine trunk diseases through “crowd-sourced” science. Frontiers in Plant Sci 4: 394
- Cantu D., Segovia V., MacLean D., Bayles R., Chen X., Kamoun S., Dubcovsky J., Saunders D.G.O., and Uauy C., 2013. Genome analyses of the wheat yellow (stripe) rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici reveal polymorphic and haustorial expressed secreted proteins as candidate effectors. BMC Genomics. 14:270
- Cantu, D., Govindarajulu M., Kozik A., Wang M., Chen X., Kojima K.K., Jurka J., Michelmore R.W., and Dubcovsky J., 2011. Next generation sequencing provides rapid access to the genome of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of wheat stripe rust. PloS ONE 6:e24230

2. The impact of plant development on disease susceptibility:

We study the impact of physicochemical modifications associated with fruit ripening on the susceptibility to pathogens.

Personnel: Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Zirou Ye

Relevant publications:
- Blanco-Ulate B., Vincenti E., Powell A.L.T, and Cantu D., 2013. Tomato transcriptome and mutant analyses suggest a role for plant stress hormones in the interaction between fruit and Botrytis cinerea. Front. Plant Sci. 10.3389/fpls.2013.00142.
- Cantu D., Blanco-Ulate B., Yang L., Labavitch J.M., Bennett A.B., and Powell A.L.T., 2009. Ripening regulated susceptibility of tomato fruit to Botrytis cinerea requires NOR but not RIN or ethylene. Plant Physiology. 150:1434-1449
- Cantu D., Vicente A.R., Labavitch J.M., Bennett A.B., and Powell A.L.T., 2008. Strangers in the matrix: plant cell walls and pathogen susceptibility. Trends in Plant Science 13: 610-617
- Cantu D., Vicente A.R., Greve L.C., Dewey F.M., Bennett A.B., Labavitch J.M., and Powell A.L.T., 2008. The intersection between cell wall disassembly, ripening, and fruit susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 859-864

3. Fungal disease resistance in grapevine:

Genetic resistance is the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly method for controlling fungal diseases. With the growing number of identified and mapped grapevine resistance genes, while we need to select and prioritize genes for deployment we confront a fundamental question: which genes or gene combinations are more likely to provide durable protection to fungal diseases? While long-term durability of genetic resistance can be achieved by stacking multiple resistance genes that are as functionally diverse as possible, our current knowledge of the resistance mechanisms of any of the resistance genes identified in grapevine so far is limited. We are establishing an innovative systems biology-oriented research program committed to the functional characterization and classification of grapevine resistance genes to guide the pyramiding of multiple, and different resistant sources into elite grape varieties by marker assisted selection.

Personnel: Katherine CH Amrine, Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Rosa Figueroa-Balderas

Relevant publications
- Cantu D., Yang B., Ruan R., Li K., Menzo V., Fu D., Chern M., Ronald P., and Dubcovsky J., 2013. Comparative analysis of protein-protein interactions in the defense response of rice and wheat. BMC Genomics. 14:166
- Lowe, I., Cantu D., and Dubcovsky J., 2010. Durable resistance to the wheat rusts: Integrating classical and systems biology approaches. Euphytica. 179:69