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Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

About the laboratory

Our laboratory, led by Dr. Carl Mesarich and Prof. Rosie Bradshaw of Massey University, investigates the molecular basis of plant–microbe interactions.

The main goal of our research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of these interactions, with the goal of better informing disease resistance breeding programmes.

Current research

Our research works to understand how plant-pathogenic fungi and oomycetes, through the deployment of effector molecules and secondary metabolites, cause disease and/or trigger host immunity.

We also focus on understanding how filamentous plant-pathogenic fungi, through modifications in their cell surface, differentiate and maintain infection‑related cellular morphotypes essential to host colonization.
Plant pathology printed publications

Publications and collaborators


We are widely published in a variety of international publications.


Working with us

For postgraduate, internship or summer school enquiries please contact Dr Carl Mesarich


Dr Carl Mesarich

Carl Mesarich Carl  Mesarich received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biological Sciences and his Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Pathology from the University of Auckland in conjunction with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research. His postdoctoral research was carried out at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (Bioprotection Group; 2015) and Wageningen University, the Netherlands (Laboratory of Phytopathology; 2012–2014).

Prof. Rosie Bradshaw

Rosie Bradshaw Rosie Bradshaw received her B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. in the UK before moving to New Zealand in 1991 when she joined the academic staff of Massey University.

She pioneered molecular and genomic studies of the fungal pine pathogen Dothistroma septosporum, and showed that the aflatoxin-like mycotoxin dothistromin is a virulence factor in Dothistroma needle blight.

In recent years her research focus has expanded to include studies of proteinaceous effectors and also of Phytophthora pathogens, including the kauri dieback pathogen Phytophthora agathidicida.