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Prof. Mike Timko of the University of Virginia Pays a Visit and Conducts Academic Exchange

/ 2015-06-16


On June 15, 2015, Prof. Mike Timko of the University of Virginia, US, gave a lecture on Uncovering New Gene Targets Regulating Secondary Metabolism and Stress Responses in Plants as part of the Advanced agriculture lecture series.

Prof. Mike Timko gave a systematic elaboration on Striga on this session of Advanced Agriculture Lecture Series. Striga,commonly known as witchweed, is a genus of parasitic plants that occur naturally in parts of Africa, Asia, and Australia. Some species are serious pathogens of crop cereals, causing considerable crop losses with the greatest effects being in savanna agriculture in Africa. Research in Dr. Timko’s lab is conducted at the cellular and organismal level using a wide range of biochemical, molecular, and genomic approaches to understand the molecular components and signaling pathways that govern the interaction of Striga with their host species. Through comparative functional genomics, host defense components and parasite virulence effectors underlying compatible and incompatible host-parasite association have been identified. These studies also included an examination of the evolution of parasitism in the Orobanchaceae as a way of determining what makes parasitism in angiosperms an attractive life-history option and the implications in managing Striga as pathogens.

Mike Timko was also engaged in academic exchanges with Prof. Li Lei’s laboratory.