Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Molecular signaling via the production of HSL's between bacterial populations on plant roots

Previous work has shown that the expression of genes involved in the ability of a bacterial strain to survive and compete with other microorganisms (including other bacteria and fungal pathogens) is dependent on the accumulation of HSL's produced by that strain. It has also been demonstrated that HSL's produced by other rhizosphere colonizing strains can influence the expression of these important genes in vitro . Current work also considers negative signaling and looks at the role of positive and negative signaling in the habitat of the bacterium. These mechanisms of cell-cell communication are exciting since they may enable competing strains to influence the outcome of competition by affecting the regulation of physiochemical behaviors at a genetic level.

For more information: Dr. Betsy Pierson, pierson@u.arizona.edu
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