Jenny Mortimer, Deputy Vice President of the Feedstocks Division at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Research Scientist with the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division collaborated with a team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen to decipher the workings of the Cytolysin toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The study shows that the Cytolysin binds to a class of glycosylated sphingolipid that Mortimer’s group studies. By producing plants which have modified forms of the sphingolipid, the toxin binding specificity could be determined. The study was published in Science today, December 14, and its findings may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future. Read the Science news article about the study.