Iñigo Bañales Belaunde

Plants deploy an extensive repertoire of cell surface proteins to sense microbial pathogens. These proteins are not only crucial to mount an initial immune response but are also part of an intricated network of receptors (both surface and intracellular) of which the objective is to prevent the success of the infection.

My project is part of LettuceKnow consortium and aims to understand mechanisms of surface immune perception in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Lettuce belongs to the Asteraceae family and is one of the largest vegetable crops worldwide. Despite its importance, surface immune receptors in lettuce are virtually unknown. The fundamental knowledge about genetic and molecular mechanisms generated in this project will form a basis to develop new tools for improving disease resistance in lettuce and other crops.