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Methods Collections

Molecular and physiological approaches for studying plant-microbe interactions

Collection Overview

Plants constantly interact with different microorganisms; some of which could be potential pathogens or symbionts. Plants need to be able to distinguish between pathogens and symbionts to activate the correct molecular responses—either engaging in symbiosis or acquiring resistance against them. To activate the correct response, plants rely on a battery of protein kinase receptors. These receptors perceive microbe-derived signalling molecules and activate different molecular and physiological responses. For example, most land plants detect the presence of bacterial pathogens through the detection of Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs). The perception of PAMPs leads to the production of reactive oxygen species, activation of both calcium influx/efflux, and the expression of pathogen-related genes. These molecular responses are crucial to confer resistance against bacterial pathogens. For instance, legumes detect the presence of nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria by perceiving Nodulation Factors (NFs). Upon perception of the NFs, a series of molecular events, including calcium oscillations in the nuclear region, protein phosphorylation and the overexpression of symbiosis-related genes. These molecular events are required to establish a successful symbiosis.

The availability of experimental approaches yielding high resolution, reproducible, and reliable data is key to the successful study of plant-microbe interactions. This Method Collection will include novel and improved methods for the study of both plant-symbiont and plant-pathogen interactions.


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