Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Gleason, Cynthia, Jun.-Prof.

Junior Professor of Molecular Plant Science

  • 2003: Ph.D., University of California, Davis, USA
  • 2003-2006: Postdoctoral fellow, John Innes Centre, Norwich UK
  • 2006- 2010: Postdoctoral fellow, CSIRO, Perth, Australia
  • Since March 2011: Jr. Professor, Georg-August-University Göttingen

Major Research Interests

My group is interested in studying the interactions between root-knot nematodes and their host plants. Root-knot nematodes are endoparasites that can infect the roots of a large number of different plant species, and they can cause billions of dollars in crops losses each year. The nematode enters the plant root and migrates to the vascular cylinder where it can alter plant cells into feeding structures called giant cells. To further understand how these parasites can evade plant defences and establish their feeding structures, we study two species of root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne hapla, and the model host plant Arabidopsis. On the nematode side of the interaction, we are interested in determining the genetic components of the nematode that allow it to manipulate plant defence pathways and successfully infect plants. On the plant side of the interaction, we are interested in the phytohormone responses triggered during nematode infections. Phytohormones are chemical messengers with diverse roles in growth and development, as well as in biotic stresses responses. The nematodes may be manipulating hormones to alter plant defences and/or change developmental pathways to establish the giant cells. My lab uses approaches such as gene expression analyses, generation and characterization of transgenic Arabidopsis plants, and heterologous expression of nematode genes in bacteria, to further our understanding of the plant/pathogen interaction at the molecular level.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Gleason C, Huang S, Thatcher LF, Foley RC, Anderson CR, Caroll AJ, Millar AH, Singh KB (2011) Complex II has a key role in production of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species influencing plant stress gene regulation and defence, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108(26):10768-73.
  • Anderson JP, Lichtenzveig J, Gleason C, Oliver RP, Singh KB (2010) The B-3 ethylene response factor MtERF1-1 mediates resistance to a subset of root pathogens in Medicago truncatula without adversely affecting symbiosis with rhizobia. Plant Physiol 154(2):861-873.
  • Gleason C, Liu QL, Williamson VM (2008) Silencing a Candidate Nematode Effector Gene Corresponding to the Tomato Resistance Gene Mi-1 Leads to Acquisition of Virulence. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 21(5):576-85.
  • Gleason C, Chaudhuri S, Yang T, Munoz-Gutierrez A, Poovaiah BW, Oldroyd GED (2006) Nodulation independent of rhizobia induced by a calcium-activated kinase lacking autoinhibition. Nature. 441(7097):1149-52.
  • Kalo P, Gleason C, Edwards A, Marsh , Mitra RM, Hirsch S, Jakab J, Sims S, Long SR, Rogers J, Kiss GB, Dowine JA, Oldroyd GED (2005) Nodulaton signaling in legumes requires NSP2, a member of the GRAS family of transcriptional regulators. Science. 308(5729):1786-9.
  • Mitra M, Gleason CA, Edwards A, Hadfield J, Downie JA, Oldroyd GE, Long SR (2005) A Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase required for symbiotic nodule development: Gene identification by transcript-based cloning. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 101(13):4701-5.
  • Williamson VM, Gleason C (2003) Plant-nematode interactions. Curr Opin Plant Biol 6(4): 327-333.