Dr. Jesse Labbe
Insights into fungal systems and the molecular basis of the plant-microbe interactions
Fungi are one of the most important groups of organisms on the planet that play crucial roles in the regulation and stabilization of diverse ecosystems. Over the 20 th century, studies of fungi have greatly contributed to the fundamental knowledge in biology and the human life and industrial development including, medicine, food and farming. Over millions of years, plant have also co-evolved with microbes, of which mycorrhizal fungi (over at least 400MY) that possibly enable early land plant colonization. The interaction between plant and microbes can be beneficial, neutral, and unfavorable which directly influences the plant growth, its health, and development. Therefore, understanding such complex biosystems is a crucial and promising aspect to develop sustainable bioenergy and bioproducts. The advancement in sequencing technologies and various ‘omics’ tool has impressively accelerated my research in this area and provided unique approaches to describing these intricate interactions and test hypotheses. This presentation will overview some contribution into the study of the molecular and genetic determinants of the beneficial plant-fungal interactions (carried out within the U.S. DOE Plant- Microbes Interfaces project), with an emphasis on lipo-chitooligosaccharides and recent findings on their expanded biological roles.