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In terrestrial ecosystems bacteria live in close proximity with many different microbial species and form complex multi-species networks. Within those networks bacteria are constantly interacting with each other and produce a plethora of secondary metabolites like antibiotics, enzymes, volatiles and other compounds from diverse chemical classes. Several independent studies revealed that the production of secondary metabolites by soil bacteria can be influenced by the interaction with other microorganisms in their vicinity.
In this thesis we show how interspecific interactions between soil bacteria influence the production of soluble and volatile secondary metabolites, gene expression and fitness. To elucidate the effect of interspecific interactions on antimicrobial activity in soil bacteria a high-through-put screening method was developed and applied on a collection of 146 rhizobacterial isolates obtained from similar habitats. In addition we examined if the production of volatile organic compounds is influenced by interspecific interactions. Thus, the identity and antimicrobial activity of volatiles produced by bacteria cultivated in monoculture as well in interaction were examined. Furthermore a sand microcosm approach was applied to investigate how Pseudomonas fluorescens strain Pf0-1 responded to the presence of monocultures and mixtures of a Gram-negative (Pedobacter sp. V48) and a Gram-positive (Bacillus sp. V102) bacterial strain under two nutritional conditions.
The interaction between a gram-negative Burkholderia and a gram-positive Paenibacillus isolate was subjected to detailed metabolome, volatolome and transcriptome analysis. One distinct volatile and one non-volatile compound produced only during interspecific interaction but not in the monoculture were identified. The activity of the interacting bacteria and the compounds produced during interaction were tested against a range of human and plant pathogens.
In summary, this thesis extends the knowledge about the effect of interspecific bacterial interactions on secondary metabolites production (soluble and volatiles), gene expression and fitness in bacteria. The exploitation of such bacterial interspecific interactions can be an important “tool” for the discovery of novel antimicrobial and agro-chemical compounds. The obtained knowledge can help in selecting the right players in synthetic communities that fulfil important ecosystem services like disease suppression in agricultural crop systems.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||23 Sep 2016|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- soil bacteria
- secondary metabolites
- microbial interactions
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