Unraveling Plant Immune Activation:
Decoding Single-Cell Resolution and Systems-Level Insights
We recognize that our current understanding of plant immunity is primarily established at the whole-plant, organ, or tissue level. However, plant-microbe interactions predominantly commence at the single-cell or single-cell-type level, and research in this area is often hampered by the cellular complexity of the samples analyzed. For instance, conventional RNA-seq techniques that fail to isolate cells directly interacting with pathogens from uninfected cells cannot provide precise insights into the transcriptional reprogramming occurring specifically in these distinct cell types during infection.
Fortunately, recent methodological advancements have emerged, allowing us to overcome this limitation and enabling biological analyses at the level of single cells or specific cell types. When coupled with the development of bioinformatics and functional genomics resources, these innovative approaches present unparalleled opportunities for high-resolution systems analyses of various biological processes in plants, including the activation of plant immunity.
At the Ding Lab, our primary objective is to pioneer novel approaches and develop resources that facilitate the understanding of plant immune activation at the single-cell level. To achieve this, we adopt a multidisciplinary approach, leveraging techniques such as multi-omics analysis, bioinformatics, mathematical modeling, and machine learning. By integrating these diverse tools and methodologies, we aim to unravel the intricate mechanisms underlying plant immune responses with unprecedented resolution and precision.
Through our research endeavors, we strive to advance the field of plant immunity by uncovering the complexities of cellular interactions and regulatory networks. By combining cutting-edge technologies with computational analyses, our lab seeks to contribute valuable insights into the activation of plant immunity at the single-cell level, ultimately paving the way for developing innovative strategies for enhancing plant defense and promoting sustainable agriculture.