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Symbiosis and immunity

SYMUNITY team/ Pascal Ratet

Plants interact with a wide variety of microorganisms, some of which are beneficial and some of which are harmful (pathogenic). Beneficial associations include fungal and bacterial symbioses, but also interactions with beneficial microorganisms such as Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) or soil fungi that promote plant growth or stimulate plant defenses against pathogen attacks. The association with rhizobia, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, is limited mainly to legumes.



The work of the SYMUNITY team focuses on the mechanisms governing plant-beneficial microorganism interactions and the role of plant immunity in these interactions.

The biological systems used are:

- legumes / rhizobia / endophytes, legumes / rhizobia / pathogens.

- Brachypodium distachyon (model species of temperate cereals) or wheat / fungal and bacterial endophytes.

Our work aims to identify possible common molecular mechanisms governing these interactions in order to use them to improve the benefit of beneficial interactions for the plant.

Understanding these multipartite interactions will help to better understand the complex interactions that plants face in the field or in nature. These studies can therefore help translate our research to crop plants.

We are also studying the role of bacterial communities in the beneficial effect of intercropping plants in agriculture.