Episode Summary

Plants stimulate their root bacteria to compete better, and these bacteria help the plants resist disease!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Bacillus circulans

Jesse's takeaways

In some ways, plants' roots are like our gut. They both absorb nutrients, and they both have complex communities of microbes living alongside the host cells. These microbes can assist their hosts in various ways, and get fed in return.

In this study, one species of root bacterium is able to compete against others by producing an antimicrobial compound. The plant stimulates this production with chemical signals, and benefits from its symbionts' increased competitiveness because the bacterium helps the plant resist infection.

Journal Paper

Ogran A, Yardeni EH, Keren-Paz A, Bucher T, Jain R, Gilhar O, Kolodkin-Gal I. 2019. The Plant Host Induces Antibiotic Production To Select the Most-Beneficial Colonizers. Appl Environ Microbiol 85:e00512-19.

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