Armin Djamei

Effectomics - exploring the toolbox of plant pathogens

Research focus

Biotrophic fungi colonize living host tissue and are therefore masters in manipulating the immune defense responses, metabolism and development of their host plants. The focus of our research is to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of biotrophy in the model pathosystems Ustilago maydis/Maize and Ustilago bromivora/Brachypodium. In an integrative approach we functionally explore the effectome (pathogen derived secreted manipulative molecules) to gain insights into the targeted host metabolic processes and to understand the critical needs of the pathogens.

Selected publications

Uhse S and Djamei A (2018) Effectors of plant-colonizing fungi and beyond. PLoS Pathog 14(6):e1006992.

Seitner D, Uhse S, ..., Djamei A (2018) The Core Effector Cce1 is Required for Early Infection of Maize by Ustilago maydis. Mol Plant Pathol [epub].

Uhse S, Pflug F, ..., Djamei A (2018) In vivo insertion pool sequencing identifies virulence factors in a complex fungal–host interaction. PLoS Biol:e2005129.

Czedik-Eysenberg A, Seitner S, Ulrich Güldener, et al. (2018) The ‘PhenoBox’, a flexible, automated, open-source plantphenotyping solution. New Phytol [epub].

Rabe F, Bosch J, Stirnberg A, et al. (2016) A complete toolset for the study of Ustilago bromivora and Brachypodium sp. as a fungal-temperate grass pathosystem. eLife 2016;5:e20522.

Rabe F, Seitner D,..., Djamei A (2016) Phytohormone sensing in the biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis- the dual role of the transcription factor Rss1. Mol Microbiol 102(2):290-305.

Stirnberg A, Djamei A (2016) Characterization of ApB73, a virulence factor important for colonization of Zea mays by the smut Ustilago maydis. Mol Plant Pathol 17(9):1467-79.

Tanaka S, Djamei A, Presti LL (2015) Experimental approaches to investigate effector translocation into host cells in the Ustilago maydis/maize pathosystem. Eur J Cell Biol 94(7-9):349.58.

Tanaka S, Brefort T, Neidig N, et al. (2014) A secreted Ustilago maydis effector promotes virulence by targeting anthocyanin biosynthesis in maize. Elife 2014(3):e01355.

Rabe F, Ajami-Rashidi Z, Doehlemann G, et al. (2013) Degradation of the plant defense hormone salicylic acid by the biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis. Mol Microbiol 89(1):179-88.

Djamei A and Kahmann R (2012). Ustilago maydis: dissecting the molecular interface between pathogen and plant. PLoS Pathog 8(11):e1002955.

Djamei A, Schipper K, Rabe F, et al. (2011) Metabolic priming by a secreted fungal effector. Nature 478(7369):395-8.

Mendoza-Mendoza A, Berndt P, Djamei A, et al. (2009) Physical-chemical plant-derived signals induce differentiation in Ustilago maydis. Mol Microbiol 71(4):895-911.

Djamei A, Pitzschke A, Nakagami H, et al. (2007) Trojan horse strategy in Agrobacterium transformation: abusing MAPK defence signalling. Science 318(5849):453-6.

Gregor Mendel Institute of
Molecular Plant Biology GmbH

Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3
1030 Vienna, Austria

T: +43 1 79044-9000
F: +43 1 79044-9001
E: office(at)