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Scent of a symbiont: the personalized genetic relationships of rhizobium-plant interaction

Alessio Mengoni 
Dept. of Biology, University of Florence - Italy

March 22, 2023 (09:30-10:30)
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Abstract: In nature, there is a large genetic diversity of rhizobial populations and a wide variability in the association of rhizobial strains with the same host plants species. The causes maintaining the high genetic diversity and the genetic basis of the variability of symbiotic association are still to be fully clarified. While the intricate core symbiotic machinery required to establish a successful rhizobia-host plant interaction has been mostly elucidated, much remains unknown about the genes required to optimize the interaction and which can determine the symbiotic variability found in nature. We addressed this problem using both in silico and in vitro modelled rhizosphere and nodulation conditions 1,2 and a variety of natural isolates of the species Sinorhizobium meliloti and cultivars of its host plant alfalfa. By performing Genome-Wide Association Studies 3 and comparative transcriptomics 4, we showed the presence of a large number of genotype-by-genotype (GxG) interactions that can have prominent impacts on symbiotic outcomes. Moreover, genome-wide DNA methylation profiles were inspected to provide insight on the putative role of epigenomic signatures on rhizobial diversity and differentiation 5..These findings may explain part of the large diversity rhizobial populations show in nature and highlight the importance of investigating natural isolates in the perspective of application as host genotype-specific bioinoculants acknowledgement: COST CA19125 EPICATCH project

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Istituto di Bioscienze e Biorisorse (IBBR/CNR)
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