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Jibran Tahir

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Biology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Roles of a major O-acetylserine (thiol) lyase (OASTL) in cysteine biosynthesis, innate immunity and disease resistance in Arabidopsis

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The relationship between plant nutrition and plant defence systems has been widely debated. However, the mechanism that links them has not been well characterised. As for many other organisms, sulphur is an important nutrient for plants, which is incorporated through the biosynthesis of the cysteine amino acid. Mr Tahir studied the role of an enzyme that incorporates sulphur through cysteine biosynthesis in the model plant Arabidopsis (a close relative of cabbage and cauliflower that researchers have used as a model for understanding plants’ biology for the last 20 years). He found that the enzyme that regulates cysteine metabolism is also required in plants’ disease resistance mechanisms. These results increase our knowledge about the mechanisms through which sulphur incorporation may enhance disease resistance in plants. This study will therefore help further our understanding of the co-evolution of plants’ immune and nutritional systems.

Associate Professor Paul Dijkwel
Dr Donald Hunter

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