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      Plant polysaccharides initiate underground crosstalk with bacilli by inducing synthesis of the immunogenic lipopeptide surfactin.

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          Some plant-associated bacteria such as Bacillus sp. can protect their host from pathogen ingress and this biocontrol activity correlates with their potential to form multiple antibiotics upon in vitro growth. However, our knowledge on antibiotic production by soil bacilli evolving on roots in natural conditions is still limited. In this work, antibiome imaging first revealed that the lipopeptide surfactin is the main bacterial ingredient produced in planta within the first hours of interaction with root tissues. We further demonstrated that surfactin synthesis is specifically stimulated upon perception of plant cell wall polymers such as xylan or arabinogalactan, leading to fast accumulation of micromolar amounts in the root environment. At such concentrations, the lipopeptide may not only favour the ecological fitness of the producing strain in term of root colonization, but also triggers systemic resistance in the host plant. This surfactin-induced immunity primes the plant to better resist further pathogen ingress, and involves only limited expression of defence-related molecular events and does not provoke seedling growth inhibition. By contrast with the strong response mounted upon perception of pathogens, this strongly attenuated defensive reaction induced by surfactin in plant tissues should help Bacillus to be tolerated as saprophytic partner by its host.

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          Author and article information

          Environ Microbiol Rep
          Environmental microbiology reports
          Jun 2015
          : 7
          : 3
          [1 ] Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (LSM/GIGA-R), Chemistry Department, University of Liège, Liège, 4000, Belgium.
          [2 ] URVVC-EA 4707, Stress, Défenses et Reproduction des Plantes, Université de Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, BP 1039, France.
          [3 ] Wallon Center for Industrial Biology, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux, 5030, Belgium.
          [4 ] Molecular Biology (GxABT), Molecular and Cellular Epigenetics (GIGA), University of Liège, Gembloux, 5030, Belgium.
          © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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