Monica Höfte - Head of the laboratory of Phytopathology at the Department of Plants and Crops

Belgium, Ghent University

Monica Höfte is a full professor at the Ghent University. She is the head of the laboratory of Phytopathology at the Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering since 1997. She is an agricultural engineer with a PhD degree in microbial ecology. Monica Höfte is a general plant pathologist with a wide interest in both fundamental and practical aspects of plant-pathogen interactions. She is a well-acknowledged researcher who has mentored numerous PhD and master students. Her research interests are biological and integrated control of plant pathogens and natural and induced resistance mechanisms against fungi and bacteria in a wide variety of tropical (cocoyam, rice, banana) and temperate crops (lettuce, tomato, bean, cabbage, pepper, grapevine). Work on biocontrol mainly focuses on cyclic lipopeptide-producing  bacteria.  Cyclic lipopeptides are amphiphilic molecules and show an enormous structural diversity. They are a promising class of natural products with antimicrobial activity and the ability to trigger defense responses in plants. Monica Höfte is coordinating interdisciplinary projects in which chemists and biologists work together to understand the ecology, structure-function relationships and membrane activity of cyclic lipopeptides produced by Pseudomonas and Bacillus bacteria. She will tell you more about these fascinating molecules during her ISCP presentation.