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CSB Seminar Series – Corné Pieterse, PhD – Utrecht University, Institute of Environmental Biology

February 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

CSB Departmental Seminar

Corné Pieterse, PhD

Utrecht University, Institute of Environmental Biology

TITLE: Bi-directional signaling along the microbiome-root-shoot axis

ABSTRACT: Host microbiome research has emerged as a new imperative in the life sciences. The realization that thousands of microbial species are an integral part of the biology of eukaryotic hosts and expand their genomic potential comes with great new opportunities for microbiome-assisted agriculture. Discoveries that root microbiota support plant growth, nutrition and immunity fostered bio-based crop system approaches to reduce the use of agrochemicals. However, the dream of microbiome-assisted agriculture as a genuine sustainable contribution to global food security will require a deep understanding of the genetic, ecological and evolutionary principles underlying plant-microbiome interactions. In Utrecht, we discovered that pathogen-infected plants can “cry for help” from immunity-stimulating root microbiota that, after being recruited, reduce disease through microbiome-encoded functions. We also showed that the plant immune system not only fights pathogens but also functions as a gatekeeper that favours life-supporting microbes to colonize on the host. Our research on bidirectional signalling along the microbiome-root-shoot axis provides a firm knowledge basis to harness the power of the plant’s second genome for future microbiome-assisted crop systems. During my talk I will highlight several of our recent findings.

HOST: CSB Trainees

LOCATION: Cell and Systems Biology, 25 Harbord Street, Suite 432


February 23
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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