Stress induced long-distance communication between plant and microbes

Muhammad Rizaludin, MSc

PhD student at The Netherlands Institute of Ecology, in the Department of Microbial Ecology (NIOO-KNAW).

Supervision: Prof. Jos Raaijmakers (promotor), Dr. Paolina Garbeva (co-promotor)

Overall aim: The overall aim of this project is to elucidate mechanism underlying biotic-stress induced plant-microbe communication belowground via root-emitted VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Key Objectives & Expected Results

Key objectives:

  • To identify VOCs actively emitted by root plants upon biotic stress.
  • To study specificity of VOCs from plant roots under different biotic stress factors.
  • To identify the impact of these stress-induced VOCs on root microbiome composition.
  • To define the VOCs associated with bacterial recruitment or activation in stressed plants.
  • To identify the microbial genes and metabolites activated in response to root-emitted VOCs.
  • To explore the ability of recruited bacteria to enhance plant stress resilience.

Expected results:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the chemistry, specificity and mechanisms underlying VOCs-mediated “cry for help” responses belowground.
  • Isolation and identification of rhizosphere microorganisms responsible to help alleviating biotic stresses in crop plants.
  • Identification of the mechanisms underlying bacterial mediated alleviation of biotic stress in crop plants.