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Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Institut Agro Rennes-Angers Angers University   IRHS

IRHS

Metabolism and performance of seedlings in interaction with biotic environment

Metabolism and performance of seedlings in interaction with biotic environment
Understand how plant metabolism, in interaction with biotic environment (pathogens and beneficial microbiota) and nitrogen nutrition, influences the seedling vigour.

Climate change and development of a more resilient agriculture modify abiotic but also biotic environment of the seedlings. Our aim is to understand how plant metabolism influences the seedling vigour in interaction with the biotic environment (pathogens and beneficial microbiota).

Influence of nitrogen in seedling resistance to pathogens

Nitrogen availability influences the plant resistance to pathogens, but mechanisms behind nutrient-induced modulation of disease development are potentially complicated and diverse. We took advantage of our expertise in nitrogen metabolism and a collaboration with the team FungiSem-IRHS to examine the effect of host nitrogen supply in plant-fungus pathogenic interaction, using the pathosystem Arabidopsis thaliana x Alternaria brassicicola. In the NPFun project, we have shown that the susceptibility to fungal infection at the rosette stage depends on A. thaliana nutrition regime (nitrate versus ammonium) and plant metabolic state. In the FuSIoN project, we investigate the influence of the nitrogen source (concentration and chemical form of nitrogen) on susceptibility to fungal infection during seed germination and seedling development, exploiting a genetic diversity of Arabidopsis (small panel of contrasting ecotypes for susceptibility to the pathogen) (TB's PhD). Plant metabolic profiling (primary metabolism and defence metabolites) and analysis of expression of plant and fungal genes potentially involved in nitrogen metabolism and defence in response to the necrotrophic infection are currently underway to understand the specificities observed in seedlings compared to adult plants.

Figure3

■ Microbiota and seedling performance

Plants live in association with a complex assembly of viruses and microorganisms, collectively referred to as plant microbiota, which has been demonstrated to play a key role in plant fitness. In two of our projects, OSMOSE and PPR SUCSEED, we aim to identify and set up novel solutions adapted to seed protection using natural and environment-friendly alternatives to pesticides. To do so, we are helped by other local teams (EmerSys- and FungiSem-IRHS), and investigate seedling metabolic responses to seed microbial communities, in presence or in absence of pathogens, and consequences on seedling performance. Metabolic profiling experiments are under investigation from a range of plant species and plant intraspecific genetic diversity (PPR SUCSEED project).