6708 PB Wageningen
We recently discovered that plants under attack by fungal root pathogens can actively recruit endophytic microbes inside their root tissues (endosphere) for protection. We showed that Cupriavidus and Stenotrophomonas species were significantly enriched in the root endosphere of sugar beet upon Rhizoctonia solani infection. In addition, metagenomic analyses of the endosphere showed a high abundance of genes encoding for phenazines, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and lanthipeptides associated with these taxa, but their functional roles in plant colonisation and protection are yet unknown. Genome sequencing, in vitro and in vivo antagonistic activity and metabolomics experiments are ongoing to investigate their functional potential and to resolve the role of the identified BGCs in endophytic colonisation and plant protection. Our results and ongoing experiments will shed light on microbiome assembly in the endosphere and which genes and metabolites are expressed in plants under siege.