CV page

Jenifer Seematti Sundar

Jenifer Seematti Sundar
Post-genomic effector mining and the role of silencing suppressors in oomycete-host interactions


Phytophthora infestans is an oomycete that causes potato late blight. It is notoriously known for the Irish potato famine of the 19th century. It infects plants successfully through the secretion of proteins called effectors. These effectors are targeted during resistance plant breeding; however, due to sexual reproduction P. infestans effectors evolve rapidly and breeding programs are unable to keep up. Bioinformatics screens have predicted ~500 effectors but less than 20 have been studied in plants. We will use Swedish (diverse), Chinese (clonal) and Dutch (clonal) P. infestans isolates to mine effectors using the PenSeq enrichment sequencing technique. Population genetics work to study the spatial and temporal dynamics will be carried on too. The top effector candidates will be functionally characterized. Some P. infestans effectors, such as the Avr1-like effector, are suggested to act as suppressors of RNA silencing in plants. We will elucidate the role of such effector proteins and see whether they act as master regulators of pathogenicity. Finally, P. infestans has been found to secrete some enzymes and putative effectors to defend itself when Pythium oligandrum, a mycoparasite, attacks it. We will functionally characterize these putative effectors to find the exact roles and underlying mechanisms. This way, a better biocontrol formulation of P. oligandrum can be developed.


2018-2019    Research Assistant, Protein and Nucleic acid Biophysics, CSIR - Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India

2015-2017    MSc Plant Biotechnology, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands 

2014-2015    BTech thesis (kidney fibrosis), Vaidya Lab, Harvard University, USA 

2011-2015     BTech Genetic Engineering, SRM University, Chennai, India


Prof. Laura Grenville-Briggs Didymus (main supervisor)

Prof. Jiasui Zhan (co-supervisor)

Selected publications

Jadhav, S., Ajay, A.K., Trivedi, P., Seematti, J., Pellegrini, K., Craciun, F., Vaidya, V.S. (2016). RNA-binding protein Musashi homologue 1 regulates kidney fibrosis by translational inhibition of p21 and Numb mRNA. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(27), 14085-14094.



Doctoral Student MSCA leave of absence at the Department of Plant Protection Biology
Telephone: +91 9940177930
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp