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Simona Radutoiu

Plant-microbe interactions from simple to complex associations

Simona Radutoiu leads a research group focused on studies of interactions established between plants and the large diversity of surrounding microbes. Her team uses genetic and molecular tools to decipher the role of plant components in establishing symbiotic associations with beneficial bacteria and fungi, or pathogenic associations with detrimental microorganisms. These interactions are studied by performing:

  • targeted investigation of the mechanisms enabling plant LysM receptors to recognize these microbes at molecular, cellular and whole plant level.
  • a broad investigation of microbiomes associated with different plant genotypes using next generation sequencing of microbial DNA.

The aim is to use contrasting associations and microbial environments of increasing complexities (single microbes- tailored microbial consortia- soil complex microbiota) to understand how plants use their distinct genetic tools to select and accommodate beneficial microbes in their roots and rhizosphere. Our long-term goal is to use our basic understanding to improve the ability of plant crops to select, associate and benefit from these microbial interactions in sustainable agriculture that limits the use of chemical pollutants.

Simona’s team consists of bachelor, master, and PhD students, postdocs, technicians, and visiting scholars and receives funding from targeted grants (Novo Nordisk and Independent Research Fund Denmark) or larger consortia (InRoot and ENSA). We are always open for discussions about our work. Please contact us (radutoiu@mbg.au.dk) if you are interested in hearing more about our research.