Within the Molecular Plant Pathology group of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, my group aims to uncover the molecular basis of pathogenicity of the plant-pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum . This fungus causes wilt disease or root/bulb-rot in many plant species of agricultural and horticultural importance.
This includes the identification and charaterization of genes required for pathogenicity, as well as the identification and molecular analysis of effectors : proteins secreted during colonization of host plants. Some of the latter proteins are required for full virulence. Some are recognized in resistant plants carrying a matching Resistance gene , in which case they can be referred to as avirulence factors.
Effector genes reside in lineage-specific chromosomes and chromosomal regions in the genome of F. oxysporum. These chromosomes can transfer between clonal lines and we are studying the mechanisms underlying this unique process.
Whenever our research yields leads for improved control of these diseases we pursue collaboration with the revelant sectors in society.
After graduating in molecular biology at the University of Amsterdam in 1991, I worked as a PhD student in the lab of Molecular Biology headed by Prof. Leslie Grivell. In 1996, I defended my thesis on the role of proteases in mitochondrial biogenesis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae .
I then moved to Leuven, Belgium, where I worked as a postdoc in the lab of Prof. Johan Thevelein on the response of yeast to osmotic stress, primarily dealing with regulation of transcription.
In 1999, I came back to Amsterdamto work for a year in the lab of Prof. Henk Tabak, setting up microarray technology to study yeast's transcriptional response to fatty acids.
In 2000, I became assistant professor in the Plant Pathology group of Prof. Ben Cornelissen.
From 2002 to 2007, I was research fellow of the Royal Dutch Society for Arts and Sciences.
In 2010 I obtained a NWO-Vici grant to study chromosome transfer in fungi.
In 2018 I became full professor and chair of Molecular Plant Pathology
Like Fokkens, post-doc, bioinformatician; Role of transposons in genome evolution in Fusarium oxysporum; [NWO-Veni]
Maria Constantin, PhD student; Mechanisms and genes involved in biocontrol capacity of Fusarium oxysporum; [ITN BestPass]
Jiming Li, PhD student; Analysis of pathogenicity chromosomes of Fusarium oxysporum; [CSC scholarship]
Sri Widinugraheni, PhD student; Identification and characterization of effectors of F. oxysporum f.sp. cubense; [KNAW-SPIN]
Mara de Sain, technician; Markers for formae speciales of Fusarium oxysporum; [EFRO]
Petra Houterman , technician; Molecular genetics of Fusarium oxysporum; [UvA-SILS]
Peter van Dam , PhD student; Identification and characterization of effectors of F. oxysporum pathogenic to various host plants; [NGI Zenith]
Lotje van der Does, post-doc; Communication between core and accessory genomes of F. oxysporum; [NWO-Veni]
Nico Tintor, post-doc; Effector entry into plant cells; [NWO-Vici]
Like Fokkens, post-doc, bioinformatician; Evolution of the accessory genome of F. oxysporum; [NGI-Zenith]
Mara de Sain, PhD student; Targets of effectors of F. oxysporum in tomato; [STW]
Sarah Schmidt, post-doc; Comparative genomics of F. oxysporum; [NWO-Vici]
Ido Vlaardingerbroek, PhD student; Chromosome transfer in F. oxysporum; [NWO-Vici]
Shermineh Shahi, PhD student; Chromosome transfer in F. oxysporum; [NWO-Vici]
Patrick Mak , technician; Proteomic analysis of phloem sap; [TTI Green Genetics]
Vladimir Krasikov , Post-doc; Functional analysis of the tomato xylem sap protein XSP10
Caroline Michielse, Post-doc; Insertional mutagenesis of F. oxysporum, pathogenicity genes; [Utopa foundation]
Linda Reijnen , technician; Insertional mutagenesis of F. oxysporum, pathogenicity genes
Wilfried Jonkers , PhD student; Analysis of FRP1, metabolic requirements of root invasion
Lotje van der Does, PhD student; Analysis of the effector and avirulence factor Six1, horizontal chromosome transfer
Ringo van Wijk , technician; Insertional mutagenesis of F.oxysporum; [Utopa Foundation]
Michiel Meijer, postdoc; Molecular Genetics of F. oxysporum
Prof. Ben J.C. Cornelissen , head of Molecular Plant Pathology
Dr. Frank Takken and his team members (see link below)
Dr. Harrold van den Burg and his team members (see link below)
Since 1979 Baha'is in Iran have been prevented from entering higher education unless they officially identify themselves as Muslims (or as follower of another recognized religion). In 2006 for the first time since the Islamic revolution Baha'is have been allowed to enroll in universities, only to be expelled as soon as it became clear that they were Baha'is. Contact me in case you want to help raise awareness of this situation.