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Horticultural Crop Genomics Laboratory

Research

  1. 1) Whole genome sequencing of hot pepper
    Pepper is one of the most important crops in the world and known as a great source of vitamin. We sequenced the genome of pepper (Capsicum annuum) and compared it with the genome of Solanaceae crops such as tomato and potato. To analyze the pepper genome, we focused on 1) Genome expansion, 2) Evolution of the pungency related to the capsaicin, 3) Comparative fruit ripening. High-resolution pepper genome we’ve constructed will serve as a reference genome for commercial and wild pepper species and also enables the advancement of new breeding technology for horticulturally important traits such as fruit size, yield and pungency.
  2. 2) Nonhost resistance at the plant-pathogen interface
    Most plants are resistant to most pathogens. This phenomenon is known as nonhost resistance (NHR). NHR is the most durable resistance form of plants. However, the molecular basis of NHR remains poorly understood. To study the molecular mechanism of NHR based on the effector-triggered immunity, our experimental model is Phytophthora infestans and nonhost plant pepper (Capsicum annuum). We optimized the system to investigate the interaction between effectors and NB-LRR genes and have cloned several NB-LRR genes from pepper using pepper genome information. Identification of NB-LRR which recognize effectors of P. infestans elucidates the mechanism of NHR and serve as a great resource for durable resistance.
  3. 3) Functional genomics of defense-related genes
    We focus on defense-related genes of pepper. Protease regulates several biological processes in plants such as metabolism, growth and defense. We identified 153 representative protease genes using pepper genome information and characterized the role of protease family in plant development and immune response by functional genomics approach. This study provide basic information for further understanding the immune system of plants.

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