I am a molecular plant biologist at the Biosystematics group at Wageningen University with ample knowledge and research experience in experimental plant biology and molecular phylogenetics. My research addresses curiosity driven questions on how plants defend themselves against pathogen attack. I have always been interested in understanding the genetic basis underlying natural variation in disease resistance within crops and their wild relatives. During my PhD thesis, for example, I discovered a novel genetic source of broad-spectrum resistance, which is mediated by lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs). In other projects I studied R-gene-mediated blight resistance in Solanaceous crops, molecular mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions, and the evolution of plant defense genes (see publications).
Disease resistance in crop wild relatives
Fundamental knowledge on genetic diversity and molecular evolution of resistance genes can provide novel biological insights in plant immunity that can lead to the development of new crop breeding strategies. By unlocking the genetic diversity hidden in crop wild relatives we try to provide novel genetic resources to breed crops with more durable disease resistance.Current research projects are centered on disease resistance in lettuce and Brassica and, to a lesser extent, Solanaceous crops. Please visit the website of our research team for more information; klaasbouwmeester.com.
Students interested to join my research team are welcome. Have a look at our student projects or contact me to discuss your topic of interest.