Dr Emmanuel Wicker, a population geneticist at the Interactions Plant Microorganisms Environment unit of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), delivered a special seminar at FABI on 23 August. His seminar titled “What makes a plant pathogen cause emerging diseases?” highlighted the factors that influence the emergence of disease on plants infected by the bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacaerum

The pathogen has a wide host range and infects more than 250 species including agricultural crops such as tomato and aubergine. Dr Wicker was at the Institute as co-supervisor of PhD candidate Valentine Nakato, who presented her prestige seminar on 24 August. He discussed how high genome plasticity in some phylotypes influenced the pathogen’s potential to adapt to new hosts and the role of recombination in shaping the Ralstonia solanacaerum species complex.