Plant-Microbe Interactions

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This can lead to improved seed protection and quality.

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Toggle navigation. Information for Most searched-for services Quick links. Websites Staff search Search. Recent technological advances e. The aim of research area C is to characterise the structure, function and ecology of the plant microbiome within and between species of the Brassicaceae.


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Therefore, we will investigate the influence of specific biotic genetic variation in host and microbe and abiotic factors phosphate limitation and temperature on the composition and activities of associated root and leaf microbial communities. One of their strategies for survival in the hostile plant tissue environment is the secretion of effector proteins that interact with plant proteins to the advantage of the pathogen. In their contribution, Kuppireddy et al. Out of 50 identified putative effectors, they showed for four that they are indeed secreted proteins.


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  5. Interaction analysis revealed a plant protein with homology to a protein involved in pollen germination. Considering that M. Gao et al. They generated and analyzed the transcriptome of Fusarium proliferatum , the causal agent of a destructive tomato disease during which dark brown necrotic spots appear on leaves and stems that grow and cause stems to soften and wilt, often leading to death of the entire tomato plant.

    In the absence of a published genome sequence, they resorted to de-novo assembly of the sequenced transcriptome and analyzed gene expression to identify putative effector candidates, most displaying elevated expression during plant colonization [ 8 ]. In a related study, Wang et al. Gene expression analysis of the infected kiwifruit plant revealed upregulation of several genes. These included key genes for defense compound terpene biosynthesis and the generation of secondary metabolites, genes involved in plant immunity pathogen-associated molecular pattern-induced immunity and effector-triggered immunity , as well as a change in expression of metabolic processes that may all have a role in suppressing spread of Psa [ 9 ].

    Adam et al. They found that phytopathogenic and phyto-associated ascomycetes contain rhodopsin-encoding genes. While CarO was previously shown to be a light-driven proton pump, here the authors show that CarO is positively regulated by presence of indoleacetic acid and of sodium acetate. Intriguingly, they showed that deletion of the CarO-encoding gene from the genome of F.

    Thus, although our knowledge on how plant pathogens infect host plants and on how the plants react to pathogen attack steadily increases, much remains still unknown. As the last example shows, research often reveals unexpected results that stimulate further research and necessitate an adjustment of the current plant—pathogen interaction models. Plants are covered by microbes: some of them cause disease, some have a positive influence on plant growth, and some microbes may just be there with an as-yet undiscovered role in microbial ecology.

    Department of Plant Microbe Interactions

    Roots are surrounded by a thick layer of associated microbes in the rhizosoil, and not even seeds are sterile. Microbes associated with seeds can have a profound influence on plant development, since they are present upon seed germination and can affect plant ecology, health and productivity. The seed microbiome comprises both endophytic microbes as well as microbes present on the seed surface. Chen et al. The plant is also known to contain active secondary metabolites, such as salvianolic acid and tanshinone, a diterpenoid quinone.

    They collected seeds from different geographic cultivation areas and determined the total seed-associated microbiomes. They compared the seed microbiomes of the different locations and also between those of S. The authors found a clear overlap of microbial taxa associated with seeds of S.

    In contrast, the overlap in microbiomes of seeds of different plants was limited to a few microbial species. Interestingly, the authors found that in the core bacterial microbiome, genes for secondary metabolism were overrepresented, including genes encoding prenyltransferases, terpenoid backbone biosynthesis enzymes, as well as enzymes for degradation of limonene, pinene and geraniol.


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    This suggests a possible contribution of the microbiome to the secondary metabolite profile of medicinal plants [ 11 ]. They investigated seeds of Crotalaria pumila , a pioneer plant in metal-contaminated soils.

    Frontiers in Plant Science | Plant Microbe Interactions

    The most prominent community member of the seed-associated microbiome of C. Cp3 [ 12 ]. The authors could show that root inoculation of flowering plants with strain Cp3 led to the occurrence of Cp3 in the seeds.

    Prof. Paul Goodwin (plant microbe interactions)

    Using tagged strains, the authors followed the bacteria colonizing the root cortical cells and the xylem vessels in the stem of C. They present evidence consistent with a positive role of strain Cp3 for seed germination and seedling development [ 12 ]. This shows that the seed microbiome may contribute significantly to the general fitness of the plant and may even be involved in adaptation of the plant to adverse living conditions like metal-contaminated soils.

    Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions

    That roots are associated with microbes is common knowledge. What is less well-known is that the microbes in the rhizospheres of different plants affect each other to the advantage of the plants. Li et al. It turns out that intercropping resulted in a higher microbial diversity with a higher accumulation of beneficial bacteria in the soil that led to increased levels of soil-available nutrients and an increase in plant biomass [ 13 ]. While this study showed the advantage of intercropping, in many areas, plant monocultures are cultivated successively on the same field.

    Plantations of tea Camella sinensis can be grown for over 30 years on the same field. Compared to new tea fields planted only two years ago, the older tea fields endure poor growth, chlorosis, wilting, and ratooning problems. Arafat et al. While the physicochemical properties of the soils were nearly identical, the authors noticed an enhancement of catechin-containing compounds and a lowering of the pH of the soils with continued tea monoculture, which affected microbial distribution patterns.

    The authors suspect that plant exudates influence the bacterial community of the associated soil, which might lead to the described problems in yield reduction [ 14 ]. In this issue of Plant—Microbe Interactions , two interesting reviews and twelve research articles highlight three aspects of plant—microbe interaction. Studying the beneficial interactions can enable us to increase plant fitness without the application of plant protection chemicals.

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