Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1137
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
DBBS graduate programs Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Barbara Kunkel's research group is interested in the signaling and regulatory events that govern interactions between bacterial plant pathogens and their hosts. The group is studying the bacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and one of its hosts, Arabidopsis thaliana, a system in which both pathogen and host are amenable to genetic and molecular analysis. The group's approach involves identifying and characterizing both pathogen and plant genes that govern whether interactions between these two organisms result in disease or not. The research currently focuses on two central areas: 1) The molecular basis of pathogenicity in P. syringae, and 2) The physiological processes and signaling pathways in the plant host that are modified by pathogen virulence factors.
Photo caption: Expression of the Pseudomonas syringae virulence factor avrRpt2 in plant cells promotes pathogen virulence. Disease symptoms caused by P. syringae on transgenic plants expressing the bacterial gene avrRpt2 (right) are much more severe than those on non-transgenic control plants (left).
Lim, M. T. S., and B. N. Kunkel. (2004) The Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 promotes virulence independently of RIN4, a predicted virulence target in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 40:790-798. (Abstract/PDF)
Brooks, D. M, G. Hernandez-Guzman, A. P. Kloek, F. Alarcn-Chaidez, A. Sreedharan, V. Rangaswamy, A. Pealoza-Vazquez, C. L. Bender and B. N. Kunkel. (2004) .Identification and characterization of a well-defined series coronatine biosynthetic mutants of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact. 17:162-274.
Z. Chen, A. P. Kloek, A. Cuzick, D. Tang, W. Moeder, D. Klessig, J. McDowell, R. Innes, and B. N. Kunkel (2004) ThePseudomonas syringae AvrRpt2 protein functions downstream or independently of salicylic acid to promote virulence on Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 37:494-504. (Abstract/PDF)
Preiter, K., Brooks, D. M., Penaloza-Vazquez, A., Sreedharan, A., Bender, C. L., and B. N. Kunkel. (2005) . Novel virulence gene of Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato strain DC3000. J. Bacteriol. 187: 7805-14. (Abstract/PDF)
Lim, M. T. S. and B. N. Kunkel. (2005) The Pseudomonas syringae gene avrRpt2 contributes to the virulence on tomato.Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact 18:626-633.
Brooks, D. M., Bender, C. L., and B. N. Kunkel. (2005) The Pseudomonas syringae phytotoxin coronatine promotes virulence by overcoming salicylic acid-dependent defences in Arabidopsis thaliana.. Mol. Plant Pathol 6: 629-639. (Abstract/PDF)
Laurie-Berry, N., Joardar, V., Street, I. H., and B. N. Kunkel. (2006) The Arabidopsis thaliana JASMONATE INSENSITIVE 1 gene is required for suppression of salicylic acid-dependent defenses during infection by Pseudomonas syringae. Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact. 19: 789-800.
Sreedharan, A., Penaloza-Vazquez, A., Kunkel, B. N., and Bender, C. L. 2006. CorR regulates multiple components of virulence in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact. 19: 768-779. (Abstract/PDF)
Uppalapati, S. R, Ishiga, Y. Wangdi, W., Kunkel, B. N. Anand, A., Mysore, K. S and C. L. Bender. 2007. The phytotoxin coronatine contributes to pathogen fitness and is required for suppression of salicylic acid accumulation in tomato inoculated with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Molec. Plant-Microbe Interact. 20:955-965. (Abstract/PDF)
Chen, Z., Agnew, J. L., Cohen, J. D., He, P., Shan, L.,Sheen, J. and B. N. Kunkel. 2007. Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 alters Arabidopsis thaliana auxin physiology. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 20131-20136. (Abstract/PDF)
Mellgren, E. M., Kloek, Andrew P. and B. N. Kunkel, 2009. Mqo, a tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme, is required for virulence of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 on Arabidopsis thaliana. J. Bacteriol. 191:3132-3141. (Abstract/PDF)
Demianski. A. J., Chung, K. Mi, and B. N. Kunkel. 2012. Analysis of JAZ gene expression during Pseudomonas syringae pathogenesis reveals that JIN1/AtMYC2 regulates only a subset of JAZ genes and that JAZ10 is a negative regulator of disease symptom development. Mol Plant Pathol. 13: 46–57. (Abstract/PDF)
Melotto, M. and B. N. Kunkel, 2013. Virulence strategies of plant pathogenic bacteria. In: The Prokaryotes, 4th Ed. Rosenberg E, Stackebrand E, DeLong EF, Thompson F, Lory S (eds). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Abstract/PDF)
Mutka, A. M., Fawley, S., Tsao, T., and B. N. Kunkel. 2013. Auxin promotes susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae via a mechanism independent of suppression of salicylic acid-mediated defenses. Plant J. 74: 746–754 (Abstract/PDF)
Cui, F., Wu, S., Sun, W., Coaker, G., Kunkel, B. N., He, P. and Shan, L. 2013. Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 promotes pathogen virulence via stimulating Arabidopsis Aux/IAA protein turnover. Plant Physiol. 162: 1018–1029 (Abstract/PDF)
Prigge, M., Greenham, K., Zhang, Y., Santner, A., Castillejo, C., Mutka, A. M., O'Malley, R. C., Ecker, J.R., Kunkel, B. N., and Estelle, M. 2016. The Arabidopsis Auxin Receptor F-box proteins AFB4 and AFB5 are Required for Response to the Synthetic Auxin Picloram. Genes Genomes Genetics 6:1383-90. (Abstract/PDF)
McClerklin, S., Lee, S. G., Nwumeh, R., Jez, J.M. and Kunkel, B.N. Pseudomonas syringae Indole-3-Acetaldehyde Dehydrogenase-dependent Auxin Synthesis Contributes to Virulence of Pseudomonas syringae Strain DC3000. Submitted.