Peter Bakker

Microbial ecology of disease suppression by root microbiota  

Through mutant analysis and complementation the mechanism(s) responsible for disease suppression by beneficial rhizobacteria have been defined. Several microbial determinants have been demonstrated to trigger ISR in Arabidopsis, rice, bean and tomato. This research line fulfills the aim to place molecular mechanisms in a microbial ecological perspective. A review entitled “Induced systemic resistance by fluorescent Pseudomonas spp.” (Phytopathology 97: 239-243) provides an overview of this field of research. Effects of pathogen infection on the assemblage of the rhizosphere microbiome are studied with the aim to identify responsible plant cues and key microbial species that can be exploited to improve plant growth and health. This research line was reviewed in “The root microbiome and plant health” (Trends in Plant Science 17: 478-486).