BECAS FULBRIGHT / FUNDACIÓN BUNGE Y BORN / FUNDACIÓN WILLIAMS
Metabolomics evaluation of the effect of copper on the rhizospheric interactions mediated by quorum sensing
Ana Carolina del Valle Leguina
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
This project originates from the hypothesis that the presence of elevated concentrations of copper caused by the extensive utilization of fungicides in agriculture produces an alteration of the Quorum Sensing (QS) activity in rhizosphere microorganisms, which could have detrimental effects on plant growth-promoting microorganisms. QS systems are cell-to-cell signaling mechanisms that control the microbial physiology in response to signal molecules. The overarching subject of the current project is to increase the understanding of the interactions mediated by QS between rhizosphere microorganisms and the influence of copper on them in the presence of a host plant. We propose to study these interactions at molecular level using the cutting edge techiques of metabolomics, complemented with imaging methods and mass spectroscopic imaging using state-of-the-art technologies. The results that will be obtained from this project can aid the design of a microbial consortium of biotechnological interest that can be further tested in the field.