Plant Microbe Interactions
Module 3

Prof. Kalliope Papadopoulou, University of Thessaly, Greece

• Prof. K. Papadopoulou, University of Thessaly, Greece
• Assoc. Prof. Ε. Levizou, University of Thessaly,
• Assist. Prof. Vangela,s University of Thessaly,
• Asssoc. Prof. P. Madesis, University of Thessaly
• Assist. Prof. D. Tsikou, University of Thessaly
• Prof. C. Ehaliotis, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
• Dr. V Kokkoris, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Prof. P. Garbeva, NIOO-KNAW, Wageningen, The Netherlands
• Prof. V. Flors, Universitat Jaume I, Spain
• Dr A Dalakouras, ELGO_Demeter, Greece

Learning outcomes

The students are expected at the end of the module to:

• acquire a broader perspective within very different plant-microbe interactions
• understand the basic principles of the plant immune system and the virulence mechanisms developed by interacting microorganisms
• describe the basic principles of biological control and understand operating molecular mechanisms
• understand the complexity of plant microbiomes and their functional relationships
• be able to follow the experimental and technical approaches to elucidate the biology of plant-microbe relationships
• recognize the plant interactions as translated novel tools in sustainable agriculture and new product development

The above learning objectives will be discussed at different integration levels: from genes and molecules to whole organisms and populations in an environment-dependent context

E-class: To be provided

1 Introduction to Phytobiomes- Plant-microbe interactions on the molecular, cell and organism level- Co-evolution theories.
2 Pathogenic Interactions_ Plant Immune System I (Innate Immunity).
3 Plant Immune System II (Induced Responses).
4 Mutualistic interactions – Bacteria/ Fungi I.
5 Mutualistic interactions – Bacteria/ Fungi II.
6 Multi-partite and multi-trophic interactions.
7 Plant- associated microbiomes- Natural assemblages and synthetic communities.
8 Modern concepts and methods in plant-microbe interactions.
9 (Functional) Plant Microbiomes and Plant health.
10 (Functional) Plant Microbiomes and Crop Productivity.
11 (Functional) Plant Microbiomes and Breeding strategies.
12 Case study: preparation and presentation of selected topics by the participants.
13 Evaluation.


• Written exams (70%)
• Case study (30%)

Suggested readings

01. Berg et al. (2020) Microbiome definition re-visited: old concepts and new challenges. Microbiome 8, 103.
02. Snelders et al. (2020) Microbiome manipulation by a soil-borne fungal plant pathogen using effector proteins. Nat. Plants 6, 1365–1374
03. Chialva et al. (2022) The plant microbiota: composition, functions, and engineering. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 73:135-142
04. Zhang &i Kong (2021) How plants discern friends from foes. Trends in Plant Science 74: doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2021.11.001.
05. Cordovez et al. (2019) Ecology and Evolution of Plant Microbiomes. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 73:1, 69-88
06. Fitzpatrick et al. (2020) The Plant Microbiome: From Ecology to Reductionism and Beyond. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 74:81-100
07. Huang et al. (2019) Small RNAs – Big Players in Plant-Microbe Interactions. Cell Host Microbe 26:173-182
08. Ma et al. (2021) Coordination of microbe–host homeostasis by crosstalk with plant innate immunity. Nat. Plants 7:814–825
09. Tsiknia et al. (2021) Multi-species relationships in legume roots: From pairwise legume-symbiont interactions to the plant – microbiome – soil continuum, FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 97,fiaa222.
10. Gruden et al. (2020) Ménage à Trois: Unraveling the Mechanisms Regulating Plant–Microbe–Arthropod Interactions. Trends Plant Sci. 25:1215-1226
11. Weisskopf et al. (2021) Microbial volatile organic compounds in intra-kingdom and inter-kingdom interactions. Nat Rev Microbiol 19:391–404.
12. Kokkoris et al. (2021) Host identity influences nuclear dynamics in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Curr. Biol. 31: 1531-1538.e6