We study interactions of plants and insects with symbiotic or pathogenic bacteria
Macro-organisms do not live alone. They live in world that abounds with microbes. While the large majority of these microbes have no -or a weak- impact on the hosting macro-organisms, some microbes engage in close interactions with them with either a positive (symbionts) or negative (pathogens) effect on the host fitness. Reciprocally, these molecular interactions contribute to the co-construction of specific ecological niches within the host that are exploited by symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria
The team analyses the eukaryotic and microbial functions (genes, proteins, metabolites, and signals) that are involved in interactions between plants or insects and bacteria. We also investigate agronomic and environmental issues, such as the development of innovative and environmentally friendly biocontrol approaches to protect plants from pathogens or biofertilizers to enhance plant growth.
Our model organisms are the endosymbiotic rhizobia and legumes (Sinorhizobium meliloti and Medicago plants as well as Bradyrhizobium species and soybean, Aeschynomene or Arachis plants), the gut symbiont Burkholderia insecticola and its insect host, the stinkbug Riptortus pedestris, the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens that induces tumors on various host plants, including tomatos, and the pectinolytic pathogens Pectobacterium spp. and Dickeya spp. and their potato host plant.
Our experimental approaches are functional genomics (transcriptomics, comparative genome analysis, transposon sequencing), genetics and reverse genetics, protein biochemistry and cell biology in the hosts, plants or insects, and in the bacteria. This multi-disciplinary approach allows to study inter or intra-bacterial signaling, host-to-bacteria signaling, and bacteria-to-host signaling.
Denis FAURE - Peter MERGAERT
Denis FAURE &
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ANR 2017 project SymbiontCellCyc
SATT Paris-Saclay project SYMBOOST
ANR 2016 project SymEffectors
ANR 2020 project Et-Nod.