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Matthew Denton-Giles

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Biology)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Characterization of incompatible and compatible Camellia-Ciborinia camelliae plant-pathogen interactions

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Plants have evolved in a world dominated by microorganisms. Some of these microorganisms attempt to exploit plants by attacking them and stealing their precious cellular resources. Mr Denton-Giles'' research focused on the interaction between Camellia flowers and the fungal pathogen Ciborinia camelliae. This fungal pathogen is responsible for causing Camellia flower blight, which causes Camellia flowers to turn brown and fall early. The ability of Camellia flowers to resist infection was studied at the microscopic and molecular level. Several species of Camellia were identified as having strong resistance to this pathogen. In addition, the entire DNA genome of Ciborinia camelliae was deciphered. This led to the discovery of a novel family of fungal genes that encode proteins that are able to induce plant cell death.

Associate Professor Paul Dijkwel
Professor Rosie Bradshaw
Professor Murray Cox