CLPs are emerging as one of the most efficient classes of molecules produced by such plant-associated bacteria protecting their host from pathogen ingress. However, many aspects remain to be deciphered to ensure the optimal use of bacterial producers as biocontrol agents. With this research project, we pave the way to an improved vision of their pivotal ecological impacts considering both in situ production and key roles played in interkingdom interactions. To that end, we will combine cutting-edge chemistry and biophysics with the development of original biological systems to reach the following specific aims:
- To improve our understanding on how CLPs, produced on plant roots, are modulated by the environment
- To define structural motifs/templates/interactions underlying the main biological activities, i.e. antimicrobial activity, colonization of (a)biotic surfaces, and modulation of plant resistance
- To provide a comprehensive picture of the molecular basis for these activities
- To gain insight in the evolutionary origin of CLP diversity by scrutinizing systems in representative producers from two unrelated phyla
- To provide a unique case-study to appreciate the impact of a single specific class of bacterial molecules on interkingdom interactions in soil ecosystems.
- To propose a comprehensive classification/nomenclatural system of CLPs produced by Bacillus and Pseudomonas based on chemistry, evolutionary relationship between biosynthetic gene clusters and biological activity