Mariangela Girlanda (Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi)
Silvia Perotto (Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi)
Davide Carmelo Spadaro (Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari)
Giovanna Varese (Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi)
Members of other units:
Valeria Bianciotto (CNR), Stefano Ghignone (CNR), Erica Lumini (CNR), Roland Marmeisse (University Calude Bernard Lyon 1), Laura Miozzi (CNR)
University of Turin (Life Sciences and Systems Biology, DSTF, DISAFA)
An increasing body of evidence illustrates how the health of multicellular organisms such as animals and plants relies on their tight association with specialized microbial communities (microbiomes). Due to their interdependency, plants and their associated microbiomes can be viewed as “super-organisms” which mutually enhance their metabolisms. In the classical reductionist approach, interactions with soil microbes has been studied mostly in a one-to-one combination. For example, it has been shown that the association between soil arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots improve plant mineral nutrition, fortifies the plant against biotic and abiotic stresses, and creates positive systemic effects.
In the last years, the study of plant-microbes interactions has taken advantage of the -omic approach. The innovative next generation sequencing technologies (NGS) have revolutionised our understanding of the ecology of niches like waters and soils, and of their functioning. While barcoding allows researchers to better evaluate biodiversity, large scale analyses such as mRNA-Seq can reveal the full transcriptomic
profile of one or more organisms. The main goal of this proposal is to combine NGS, proteomics, metabolomics and plant genetics to infer the principles underlying plant–microbes interactions at a community level. We will focus on the model plant Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and its root-associated fungal biomes. In addition to its known genome and the large number of genetics tools currently available, tomato is a priority for the Italian economy. This sector needs novel discoveries to innovate and improve crop quality and yield. The outcome of the project is expected to provide new knowledge on a scientific hot
spot (how microbiomes impact on plants and how plants actively shape their own microbiomes) but also on the establishment of best practices for the use of microbiota to increase plant health in agricultural settings.
The scientific objectives of the project are:
A) To assess to what extent plant genotypes and soil types modulate the plant-associated fungal microbiome in terms of diversity and metabolic activities.
B) To investigate metabolic activities and signaling in the rhizosphere.
C) To assess how diverse fungal microbiomes affect tomato growth and health.
D) To use network analysis as a bioinformatic tool in data management
Plant health, Microbiome, Biosystems, Omics approaches, NSG, Fungal biome, Mycorrhizal fungi, Saprobes, Biocontrol fungi, Secondary metabolites, Ecological services