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Wu, Chih-Hang (吳志航)

Associate Research Fellow

  • 2020- Assistant Research Fellow, IPMB, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • 2016-2019 Postdoctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK
  • 2016 Ph.D., The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of East Anglia, UK
  • 2011-2012 Research Assistant, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 2008-2011 Research Assistant, IPMB, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • 2007 M.S., Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • 2005 B.S., Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • +886-2-2787-1041(Office)
  • wuchh@gate.sinica.edu.tw
  • Plant Immunity; Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions
  • ORCID
  • Google Scholar

Like humans and animals, plants have complex immune systems to fend off invading pathogens. The NLRs (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat-containing proteins) play important roles in the immune system of plants. They function as immune receptors that detect molecules secreted from the pathogens and activate immune responses to restrict pathogen invasion. Many of the NLRs have been identified as disease resistance (R) genes that are very useful in controlling devastating pathogens of important crops. Thus, understanding how NLRs function is a major research topic in plant immunity.

In addition to the NLRs that function as sensor immune receptors, some NLRs have evolved into helper NLRs that are genetically required for the function of other sensor NLRs. The sensor and helper NLRs can form relationships from one-to-one NLR pairs to complex NLR networks to confer resistance to different pathogens. 

Our research focuses on the following three topics:

1.    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that determine the helper-sensor specificity of NLR networks.
2.    Understanding the evolutionary and functional dynamics of NLR networks in plants.
3.    Engineering disease resistance mediated by NLR networks to multiple pathogens.

Selected publication list

  • Wu CH*, Adachi H*, De la Concepcion JC*, Castells-Graells R, Nekrasov V, Kamoun S. 2020. NRC4 gene cluster is not essential for bacterial flagellin-triggered immunity. Plant Physiology 182: 455–459. org/10.1104/pp.19.00859 (* Equal contribution)
  • Frantzeskakis L, Pietro A Di, Rep M, Schirawski J, Wu CH, and Panstruga R. 2020. Rapid evolution in plant–microbe interactions–a molecular genomics perspective. New Phytologist 225 :1134-1142. org/10.1111/nph.15966
  • Adachi H, Contreras M, Harant A, Wu CH, Derevnina L, Sakai T, Duggan C, Moratto E, Bozkurt T, Maqbool A, Win J, Kamoun S. 2019. An N-terminal motif in NLR immune receptors is functionally conserved across distantly related plant species. eLife 8: e49956. doi: 7554/eLife.49956
  • Jose S, Wu CH, and Kamoun S. 2019. Overcoming plant blindness in science, education, and society. Plants, People, Planet 1 :169-172. org/10.1002/ppp3.51
  • Wu CH and Kamoun S. 2019. Tomato Prf requires NLR helpers NRC2 and NRC3 to confer resistance against the bacterial speck pathogen Pseudomonas syringae tomato. bioRxiv. doi.org/10.1101/595744
  • Derevnina L, Kamoun S# and Wu CH#. Dude, where is my mutant? Nicotiana benthamiana meets forward genetics. New Phytologist 221:607–610. doi.org/10.1111/nph.15521 (#Corresponding author)
  • Wu CH, Derevnina L, and Kamoun S. Receptor networks underpin plant immunity. Science 360:1300-1301. doi: 10.1126/science.aat2623.
  • Upson JL, Zess EK, Bialas A, Wu CH, and Kamoun S. 2018. The coming of age of EvoMPMI: evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions across multiple timescales. Current Opinion in Plant Biology44:108-116.  org/10.1016/j.pbi.2018.03.003.
  • Bialas A, Zess EK, De la Concepcion JC, Franceschetti M, Pennington HG, Yoshida K, Upson JL, Chanclud E, Wu CH, Langner T, Maqbool A, Varden FA, Derevnina L, Belhaj K, Fujisaki K, Saitoh H, Terauchi R, Banfield MJ, and Kamoun S. 2017. Lessons in effector and NLR biology of plant-microbe systems. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 31:34-45. doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-08-17-0196-FI.
  • Wu CH, Abd-El-Haliem A, Bozkurt TO, Belhaj K, Terauchi R, Vossen JH, and Kamoun S. 2017. NLR network mediates immunity to diverse plant pathogens. PNAS 114:8113-8118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1702041114.
  • Derevnina L, Dagdas YF, De la Concepcion JC, Bialas A, Kellner R, Petre B, Domazakis E, Du J, Wu CH, Lin X, Aguilera-Galvez C, Cruz-Mireles N, Vleeshouwers VG, and Kamoun S. 2016. Nine things to know about elicitins. New Phytologist 212:888-895. doi: 10.1111/nph.14137.
  • Wu CH, Belhaj K, Bozkurt TO, Birk SM, and Kamoun S. 2016. The NLR helper proteins NRC2a/b and NRC3 but not NRC1 are required for Pto-mediated immunity in Nicotiana benthamiana. New Phytologist 209:1344-52. doi: 10.1111/nph.13764.
  • Peng KC, Wang CW, Wu CH, Huang CT, and Liou RF. 2015. Tomato SOBIR1/EVR homologs are involved in elicitin perception and plant defense against the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora parasitica. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 28:913-926. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-12-14- 0405-R.
  • Wu CH, Krasileva KV, Banfield MJ, Terauchi R, and Kamoun S. 2015. The sensor domains of plant NLR proteins: more than decoys? Frontiers in Plant Science 6:134. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00134.
  • Bozkurt TO, Belhaj K, Dagdas YF, Chaparro-Garcia A, Wu CH, Cano LM, and Kamoun S. 2015. Rerouting of plant late endocytic trafficking towards a pathogen interface. Traffic 16:204-226. doi: 10.1111/tra.12245.
  • Wu CH, Lee SC, and Wang CW. 2011. Viral protein targeting to the cortical endoplasmic reticulum is required for cell-cell spreading in plants. Journal of Cell Biology 193: 521-535. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201006023.
  • Lee SC, Wu CH, and Wang CW. 2010. Traffic of a viral movement protein complex to the highly curved tubules of the cortical endoplasmic reticulum. Traffic 11: 912-930. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2010.01064.x.
  • Wu CH, Yan HZ, Liu LF, and Liou RF. 2008. Functional characterization of a gene family encoding polygalacturonases in Phytophthora parasitica. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 21: 480-489. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-21-4-0480.