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Dr Peter Dodds

Science Leader

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Biography

Dr Dodds' focus is on fungal rust diseases, which constitute one of the most significant threats to cereal crops worldwide. The recent emergence of the highly virulent wheat stem rust strain Ug99 is of particular concern to world food security.
Dr Dodds' research has used the pathogenic interaction between flax and the flax rust fungus as a model for understanding the basis of rust disease as well as host resistance mechanisms.
Disease resistance in this system is governed by the gene-for-gene model, where resistance depends on an interaction between host resistance (R) genes pathogen avirulence (Avr) genes.
Host R proteins constitute the recognition components of the plant innate immunity system and function to recognise specific proteins produced by the pathogen, the Avr proteins, and then induce a localised defence response that prevents infection.
Recent work has identified rust Avr proteins as members of a class of small secreted proteins that are translocated into host cells during infection as disease effectors that promote infection.
Current work focuses on:
• molecular basis of recognition of rust Avr proteins by plant R proteins
• the mechanism of R protein signal activation
• translocation of rust effector proteins into the plant cell
• function of rust effectors in disease.
Recent advances in the flax rust system are now being applied to important cereal rust diseases, particularly wheat stem rust, in order to develop improved control of these diseases in crop plants.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1991

    BSC(hons)
    University of Melbourne

  • 1996

    PhD
    University of Melbourne

Achievements and Awards

  • 2004

    CSIRO Medal
    CSIRO

  • 2006

    Peter Goldacre Award
    Australian Society of Plant Scientists

  • 2007

    Fenner Medal
    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2012

    Fellow
    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2013

    Gene Stewardship Award
    Borlaug Global Rust Initiative

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2007-2016

    Board Member International Society for Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions

  • 2012-2016

    Treasurer International Society for Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions

Publications

We have publications by Dr Peter Dodds
For more publications, please see Researcher ID: D-1181-2009