As someone with a plant-pathogen background, I am excited to study the other side of the story: How do plants defend themselves? My research in the Steinbrenner Lab focuses on plant immune responses against herbivores mediated by an specific cell surface-receptor called INR. Briefly, INR recognizes inceptin, a peptide present in the oral secretions of lepidopteran caterpillars. I use cowpea as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms behind INR-mediated plant immunity and the trade-offs of herbivore vs pathogen immune responses.
My name is Natalia Guayazán Palacios and I am from Bogota, Colombia. I completed my BS in Microbiology and double MS in Biological Sciences and Computational Biology in Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. There, I was part of the Laboratory of Mycology and Plant Pathology (LAMFU) and Dr. Silvia Restrepo was my advisor. My studies were focused on transcriptional changes in plant pathogens during host colonization, population genetics and phenotype-genotype associations in plant pathogens with a focus on fungicide resistance. My model organisms were Phytophthora infestans (Irish famine pathogen) and Phytophthora betacei causing late blight on potato and tree tomato crops, respectively, in South America.