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Home > Departments > Microbiology > Denis FAURE & Peter MERGAERT : Plant-Bacteria Interactions

Plant-Bacteria Interactions

Group leaders: Denis FAURE & Peter MERGAERT

The team studies how plants and which plant functions (enzymes, metabolites, and signals) have an impact on the bacteria living in association with them. Reciprocally, the team analyses the microbiota functions which interfere with plant functions and development. Our environment model is the rhizosphere, and our model organisms are mainly the endosymbiotic Rhizobium bacteria and legumes, and the pathogens Agrobacterium, Pectobacterium and Dickeya and their host plants.

Our research aims at understanding (1) the global interactions of plants with microbiota, especially in the rhizosphere (bacterial community structure and functions); (2) plant-bacteria interactions using specific bacterial populations as models such as those of the pathogens (Agrobacterium, Pectobacterium and Dickeya), and those of the symbiotic bacteria that the rhizobia are (Rhizobium, Sinorhizobium and Bradyrhizobium). We also investigate agronomic and environmental issues, such as the evaluation of ecological impact of GMO plants and the development of innovative and environmentally friendly biocontrol approaches to protect plants from pathogens.

We develop functional molecular approaches in plants and bacteria to study bacteria-to-bacteria signaling (quorum-sensing), plant-to-bacteria signaling, and bacteria-to-plant signaling. We also develop metagenomics for the analysis of bacterial population/community structures and functions.

Our research is divided in 4 principal projects:

Project 1 : Controlling endosymbiotic bacteria with antimicrobial peptides

Project 2 : The Agrobacterium tumefaciens lifestyle in the plant tumor

Project 3 : The rhizosphere microbiome

Project 4 : Plant protection using biocontrol agents


Plant-bacteria interactions, rhizosphere, symbiosis, pathogens, biocontrol, signalling, quorum-sensing, anti-microbial peptides, genomics, transcriptomics, GMO.


FAURE Denis [Senior Researcher - CNRS]
Department of Microbiology [Deputy]
Plant-Bacteria Interactions [Leader]
01 69 82 34 98 Gif - Bât 34

MERGAERT Peter [Senior Researcher - CNRS]
Plant-Bacteria Interactions [Leader]
01 69 82 34 81 Gif - Bât 34

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