Department of Plant Biology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1312 USA
(517) 355-4575 (Lab)
(517) 353-1926 (Fax)
Getting to Know Malaika Ebert:
I am fascinated by the underlying molecular mechanisms that take place during fungal-host interactions. To establish their ecological niche, fungal pathogens are known to secrete so-called effector molecules, which are small molecules such as proteins, secondary metabolites, or small RNAs. Effectors can have various functions, for example some may play a crucial role during host colonization, while others may help the fungus to compete with other microbes, or secure nutrients.
I am especially interested in how fungal pathogens manipulate their host to cause plant disease. What are the factors that determine whether a fungal strain can successfully infect its host? What exactly do these effectors target in the host? These are some of the questions I am addressing in my research.