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Symbiosis and immunity

Team SYMUNITY / Pascal Ratet

 

Plants interact with a wide diversity of microorganisms, some being beneficial and other detrimental (pathogenic). Beneficial associations include fungal and bacterial symbiosis but also interactions with beneficial microorganisms like bacteria that are called Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) or soil fungi. The association with nitrogen fixing rhizobia is restricted mostly to legume plants. It has probably evolved from the ancient symbiosis with beneficial fungi such as mycorrhiza.

Our SYMUNITY team studies the mechanisms governing beneficial plant-microbe interactions and the role of plant immunity in these interactions. Based on the team’s expertise beneficial interactions with legumes and cereals are studied, with a particular focus on to the existence of possible common molecular mechanisms governing these interactions. We also study the consequences of these interactions in multiple microbe interactions involving endophytes and pathogens using two main biological systems:

  • legume/rhizobia/endophytes and legume/rhizobia/pathogens
  • wheat/endophyte/Fusarium (or other cereal pathogens)


Understanding these multipartite interactions will help better understanding the complex interactions that plants are facing in fields or in the wild. These studies may thus help translating our research to crops.