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Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria

Applicant Maurhofer Bringolf Monika
Number 143141
Funding scheme NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource
Research institution Bereich Phytomedizin/Pathologie Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften ETH-Zentrum
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Experimental Microbiology
Start/End 01.05.2013 - 30.04.2017
Approved amount 463'535.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Experimental Microbiology
Ecology
Environmental Research
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Keywords (14)

insect pests; plant beneficial nematodes; biocontrol bacteria; soilborne diseases; fluorescent proteins; disease resistant soils; insecticidal activity; biosensor bacteria; antifungal activity; wheat production; molecular; soil health; disease suppressive pseudomonads; Soil bacteria

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Im Boden lebende Bakterien können Pflanzenwurzeln besiedeln und die Pflanzen vor schädlichen Pilzen schützen. Monika Maurhofer und Christoph Keel suchen nach Möglichkeiten, die Gesundheit von Schweizer Landwirtschaftsböden mit Hilfe natürlich vorkommender Bodenbakterien zu fördern und durch deren gezielten Einsatz zu verbessern.
Lay summary

Im Boden lebende Schädlinge und Pflanzenkrankheiten, die über den Boden übertragen werden, lassen sich mit Pflanzenschutzmitteln nicht bekämpfen. Sie stellen deshalb ein grosses Problem für die Landwirtschaft dar. Eine Chance bieten natürlich vorkommende Bodenbakterien, die Pflanzenwurzeln besiedeln und dadurch die Pflanzen vor schädlichen Pilzen schützen können.

Das Forschungsteam untersucht in Schweizer Böden, die für den Getreideanbau genutzt werden, ob Anzahl oder Aktivität nützlicher Bakterien der Gattung Pseudomonas im Zusammenhang mit natürlicher Krankheitsresistenz des Bodens steht. Im Weiteren interessiert, mit welchen landwirtschaftlichen Anbaumethoden sich diese Nutzbakterien fördern lassen. Anhand von Pseudomonaden und insektenschädigenden Fadenwürmern (Nematoden) entwickelt das Forschungsteam neue Methoden, um Krankheiten und Schädlinge bei Weizenkulturen auf natürliche Weise zu bekämpfen (Biokontrollmethoden). In Zusammenarbeit mit den Forschungsteams von Ted Turlings (Universität Neuenburg) und Marcel van der Heijden (Agroscope ART) werden diese Methoden in Feldversuchen eingesetzt.

Das Projekt wird Daten liefern über die Häufigkeit und Aktivität von Nutzbakterien in Schweizer Landwirtschaftsböden. Damit wird es helfen, den Beitrag, den Bakterien zur Bodengesundheit leisten, besser abschätzen zu können. Die Ergebnisse werden aufzeigen, wie sich landwirtschaftliche Anbaumethoden anpassen könnten, um die Bodengesundheit zu verbessern. Dieses Wissen ist nicht nur für die Schweizer Bauern wertvoll, sondern auch für alle Institutionen, die mit Landwirtschaft und Feldbau zu tun haben. Die Entwicklung neuer Biokontrollmethoden gegen Getreidekrankheiten und -schädlinge trägt zu einer sicheren und umweltfreundlichen Nahrungsmittelproduktion bei.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.05.2013

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les bactéries vivant dans le sol peuvent coloniser les racines des plantes et protéger les plantes des champignons nuisibles. Monika Maurhofer et Christoph Keel étudient les moyens de préserver la santé des sols agricoles suisses à l’aide des bactéries présentes naturellement dans le sol et de l’améliorer par une utilisation ciblée de ces dernières.
Lay summary

Les produits phytosanitaires ne permettent pas de lutter contre les champignons nuisibles du sol et les maladies qu’ils transmettent aux plantes et qui représentent par conséquent un problème majeur pour l’agriculture. Une solution pourrait être offerte par les bactéries présentes naturellement dans le sol, qui peuvent coloniser les racines des plantes et protéger les plantes des champignons nuisibles.

Dans des sols suisses utilisés pour la culture céréalière, l’équipe de recherche examine s’il existe une relation entre le nombre ou l’activité des bactéries utiles du genre Pseudomonas et la résistance naturelle du sol aux maladies. Par ailleurs, elle explore les méthodes de culture qui sont favorables au développement de ces bactéries utiles. Elle élabore de nouvelles méthodes naturelles de lutte contre les maladies et les nuisibles (méthodes de contrôle biologique) dans les cultures de blé, reposant sur les Pseudomonas et les filaires entomophages (nématodes). Ces méthodes sont mises en pratique dans des essais en plein champ en collaboration avec les équipes de recherche de Ted Turlings (Université de Neuchâtel) et de Marcel van der Heijden (Agroscope ART).

Le projet fournira des données sur la fréquence et l’activité des bactéries utiles dans les sols agricoles suisses. Il permettra ainsi de mieux évaluer leur contribution à la santé des sols. Les résultats montreront comment les méthodes de culture pourraient être adaptées pour favoriser la santé des sols. Ces connaissances revêtent une grande valeur non seulement pour les agriculteurs helvétiques, mais aussi pour toutes les institutions concernées par l’agriculture et les grandes cultures. Le développement de nouvelles méthodes de contrôle biologique contre les maladies et les nuisibles des céréales contribue à une production alimentaire saine et écologique.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.05.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Bacteria that live in the soil can colonise plant roots and protect the plants from harmful fungi. Monika Maurhofer and Christoph Keel are looking for ways to promote the health of Swiss agricultural soils with the help of naturally occurring soil bacteria, and to improve their health through targeted use of these bacteria.
Lay summary

Pests living in the soil and plant diseases that can be passed on through the soil cannot be prevented with pesticides. They therefore pose a great problem for agriculture. Naturally occurring soil bacteria offer an opportunity: they can colonise plant roots and protect the plants from harmful fungi.

The research team is investigating in Swiss soils that are used for wheat cultivation, whether the number or activity of useful bacteria, of the Pseudomonas genus, is connected with the soil's natural resistance to disease. It is also of interest to find out with which agricultural cultivation methods these beneficial bacteria can be stimulated. Using Pseudomonas bacteria and insecticidal threadworms (nematodes), the research team will develop new methods to prevent diseases and pests naturally for wheat cultivation (biocontrol methods). These methods will be implemented in field tests in collaboration with the research teams of Ted Turlings (University of Neuchâtel) and Marcel van der Heijden (Agroscope ART).

The project will provide data on the frequency and activity of beneficial bacteria in Swiss agricultural soils. This will help to better evaluate the contribution that bacteria make to the health of the soil. The results will show how agricultural cultivation methods can be adapted in order to improve the health of the soil. This knowledge is not only valuable for Swiss farmers, but also for all institutions that are involved in agriculture and tillage farming. The development of new biocontrol methods against grain diseases and pests will contribute to safer and more environmentally friendly food production.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.05.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Conservation tillage and organic farming induce minor variations in Pseudomonas abundance, their antimicrobial function and soil disease resistance
Dennert Francesca, Imperiali Nicola, Staub Cornelia, Schneider Jana, Laessle Titouan, Zhang Tao, Wittwer Raphaël, van der Heijden Marcel G A, Smits Theo H M, Schlaeppi Klaus, Keel Christoph, Maurhofer Monika (2018), Conservation tillage and organic farming induce minor variations in Pseudomonas abundance, their antimicrobial function and soil disease resistance, in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94(8), fiy075.
Combined field inoculations of Pseudomonas bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes and their effects on wheat performance
Imperiali Nicola, Chiriboga Xavier, Schläppi Klaus, Fesselet Marie, Villacrés Daniela, Mascher Fabio, Jaffuel Geoffrey, Bender Franz, Dennert F, Blanco-Pérez R, Van der Heijden Marcel, Maurhofer Monika, Turlings Ted, Keel Christoph, Campos-Herrera Raquel (2017), Combined field inoculations of Pseudomonas bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes and their effects on wheat performance, in Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 1809.
Relationships between root pathogen resistance, abundance and expression of Pseudomonas antimicrobial genes, and soil properties in representative Swiss agricultural soils
Imperiali Nicola, Dennert Francesca, Laessle T, Velatta C, Fesselet Marie, Mascher Fabio, Mavrodi Olga, Mavrodi Dmitri, Maurhofer Monika, Keel Christoph (2017), Relationships between root pathogen resistance, abundance and expression of Pseudomonas antimicrobial genes, and soil properties in representative Swiss agricultural soils, in Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 427.
Heavy metal tolerant Pseudomonas protegens isolates from agricultural well water in northeastern Algeria with plant growth promoting, insecticidal and antifungal activities
Bensidhoum Leila, Nabti Elhafid, Tablil Nassira, Kupferschmied Peter, Weiss Angelo, Rothballer Michael, Schmied Michael, Keel Christoph, Hartmann Anton (2016), Heavy metal tolerant Pseudomonas protegens isolates from agricultural well water in northeastern Algeria with plant growth promoting, insecticidal and antifungal activities, in European Journal of Soil Biology, 75, 38-46.
A look into the toolbox of multi-talents: Insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-beneficial pseudomonads
Keel Christoph (2016), A look into the toolbox of multi-talents: Insect pathogenicity determinants of plant-beneficial pseudomonads, in Environmental Microbiology , 3207-3209.
Abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads in the rhizosphere of winter wheat grown in different agricultural management systems
Dennert Francesca, Imperiali Nicola, Mavrodi Olga, MKavrodi Dmitri, Mäder Paul, Mascher Fabio, Maurhofer Monika, Keel Christoph (2016), Abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads in the rhizosphere of winter wheat grown in different agricultural management systems, in Bardin M, Köhl J (ed.), IOBC WPRS Bulletin, Germany, 144-147.
Die Bodenbiologie bringt Landwirte und Wissenschaftler zusammen
Fesselet Marie (2016), Die Bodenbiologie bringt Landwirte und Wissenschaftler zusammen, in Agrarforschung Schweiz , 7, 156.
Signaling in the rhizosphere.
Venturi Vittoria, Keel Christoph (2016), Signaling in the rhizosphere., in Trends in Plant Science , 21, 187-198.
Survival of Pseudomonas protegens CHA0-rif in combination with nematodes and mycorrhizal fungi under field conditions
Mysko Larissa (2015), Survival of Pseudomonas protegens CHA0-rif in combination with nematodes and mycorrhizal fungi under field conditions, Bachelor thesis in Agricultural Science, ETH Zurich.
Abundance of fluorescent pseudomonads in Swiss agricultural soils
Wyler Michele (2014), Abundance of fluorescent pseudomonads in Swiss agricultural soils, BSc thesis in Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zürich.
Influence of management practices on abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads.
Staub Cornelia (2014), Influence of management practices on abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads., Bachelor thesis in Agricultural Science, ETH Zurich.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Jochen Mayer, Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon, location Reckenholz Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Joyce Loper, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, Oregon United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Andermatt Biocontrol Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Ted Turlings, Laboratory of evolutionary entomology, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchatel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Brion Duffy and Theo Smits, Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, location Wädenswil Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Marcel van der Heijden, Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon, location Reckenholz Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dmitri Mavrodi, University of Southern Mississippi United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Dave Weller and Linda Thomashow, USDA-ARS Pullman United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Yvan Moënne-Loccoz, Microbial Ecology, Université de Lyon France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Wolfgang Vogt, Sourcon Padena (biocontrol company) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Anton Hartmann, Helmholtz-Zentrum München Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Philippe Reymond, UNIL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Fabio Mascher and Raphael Charles, Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, location Changins Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Consuelo De Moraes, Biocommunication and Entomology group, ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Andreas Gattinger and Paul Mäder, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Bruce Hibbard and Kent Shelby, University of Missouri, Columbia United States of America (North America)
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Symposium of the Genetic Diversity Center Zurich Talk given at a conference Using amplicon sequencing to elucidate the interactions between plant beneficial Pseudomonas spp. and plant pathogenic fungi in agricultural soils 05.09.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
1st International Symposium on Plant Bioprotection Sciences and Technologies Talk given at a conference Combination of plant-beneficial pseudomonads with entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes for insect control 27.06.2017 Reims, France Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
IOBC-WPRS Working Group Microbial and Nematode Control of Invertebrate Pests Talk given at a conference Root-colonizing fluorescent pseudomonads as biocontrol agents of insects 11.06.2017 Tiflils, Georgia Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
3rd Thünen Symposium on Soil Metagenomics Poster Interplay between plant-beneficial and plant pathogenic microorganisms in agricultural soils cropped with winter wheat 14.12.2016 Braunschweig, Germany Dennert Francesca;
Plant Pathology Seminary Individual talk . Influence of soil management systems on Pseudomonas spp 03.10.2016 Zurich, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
Plant Science center colloquium Individual talk Biological insect control with bacteria 28.09.2016 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
XIV IOBC/WPRS Meeting of the working group biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens Talk given at a conference Abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads in the rhizosphere of winter wheat grown in different agricultural management systems 12.09.2016 Berlin, Germany Dennert Francesca;
XIV IOBC/WPRS Meeting of the working group biological control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens Talk given at a conference Fluorescent pseudomonads for joint disease and pest control: just a dream or a real perspective? 12.09.2016 Berlin, Germany Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
16th International Symposium of Microbial Ecology (ISME) Poster Are Fluorescent Pseudomonas Bacteria potential bio-indicators of soil health? 21.08.2016 Montreal, Canada Imperiali Nicola;
. International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control and 49th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology Talk given at a conference Insect Pathogenicity Determinants of Plant-Associated Pseudomonads 24.07.2016 Tour, France Keel Christoph;
Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology Talk given at a conference Potential of root-associated pseudomonads with insecticidal activity for biological control of soil-dwelling insect pests of crops 24.07.2016 Tour, France Keel Christoph;
Ecole-chercheurs "L'écologie microbienne Talk given at a conference . Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities: interactions, metabolites and other exoproducts 14.06.2016 Pont-à-Mousson, France Keel Christoph;
74th Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Microbiology & SSM Satellite Meetings Talk given at a conference . Fluorescent Pseudomonas Bacteria as Tools for Monitoring and Improving the Health of Agricultural Soils in Switzerland 13.05.2016 Bern, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola;
Lecture Series of HELENA Graduate School of the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich Individual talk Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities. 15.02.2016 Munich, Germany Keel Christoph;
Plant Pathology Seminary Individual talk Diversity and abundance of plant-beneficial bacteria in Swiss agricultural soils 08.02.2016 Zurich, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
Stakeholder Meeting of the National Research Programme NFP68 Talk given at a conference Gesunde Böden dank Bodenbakterien 13.01.2016 Bern, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
12èmes Rencontres Plantes-Bactéries Talk given at a conference . Bodyguards of plant roots: beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with antifungal and insecticidal activities 11.01.2016 Aussois, France Keel Christoph;
Seminar. Ecologie Microbienne, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, Individual talk Molecular basis of insect pathogenicity in plant-beneficial pseudomonads. Seminary at Institue de Ecologie Microbienne, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France. December 10, 2015. 10.12.2015 Lyon , France Keel Christoph;
Basel Zurich Plant Science Centre Symposium Poster How is the abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads influenced by soil characteristics? 03.12.2015 ETH Zurich , Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
Third Programme Conference of NRP 68 Poster Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria. 12.11.2015 Montreux, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola; Dennert Francesca;
Seminar Cycle, Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne Individual talk Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria. 02.10.2015 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola;
Seminary at the University of Neuchâtel Individual talk The secret life of Pseudomonas protegens CHA0: a switch from antifungal agent to insect killer. 22.09.2015 University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Rhizosphere 4 International Conference Talk given at a conference A sensor protein controlling host-specific expression of an insect pathogenicity factor in plant-beneficial rhizosphere pseudomonads 21.06.2015 Maastricht, Netherlands Keel Christoph;
Rhizosphere 4 Conference Talk given at a conference How is the abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads influenced by soil management practices? 21.06.2015 Maastricht, Netherlands Dennert Francesca;
10th international workshop on plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Talk given at a conference Is resistance to soilborne pathogens linked to the abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads in Swiss agricultural soils? 10th international workshop on plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. 16.06.2015 Liège, Belgium Dennert Francesca;
10th International workshop on plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Talk given at a conference Fluorescent Pseudomonas bacteria as tools for monitoring and improving the health of agricultural soils in Switzerland 16.06.2015 Liège, Belgium Imperiali Nicola;
10th international workshop on plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria Talk given at a conference Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with insecticidal activities. Keynote presentation. 16.06.2015 Liège, Belgium Maurhofer Bringolf Monika; Keel Christoph;
15th Meeting of the IOBC-WPRS working group microbioal and nematode control of invertebrate pests Talk given at a conference The secret life of Pseudomonas protegens CHA0: A switch from antifungal agent to insect killer 07.06.2015 Riga, Latvia Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Congresso annuale Società svizzera di microbiologia Poster Fluorescent Pseudomonas bacteria as tools for monitoring and improving the health of agricultural soils in Switzerland 28.05.2015 Lugano, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola;
FAST Symposium at Agroscope Reckenholz Talk given at a conference Maurhofer. Influence of different soil management practices on the abundance of plant beneficial pseudomonads. FAST Symposium at Agroscope Reckenholz, 24.02.2015 Agrocsope Reckenholz, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
Second Programme Conference of NRP 68, Poster Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria. 20.11.2014 Fribourg November 20-21, 2014, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola;
Plant Pathology Seminaries Individual talk Battlefield Rhizosphere: How root-colonizing pseudomonads interact with plants, plant pathogens, predators and insects. 13.10.2014 ETHZ, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Herbsttagung Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Phytomedizin. Poster Wurzelassoziierte Pseudomonaden mit toxischer Aktivität gegenüber Insekten 26.09.2014 Agroscope Changins, Switzerland Keel Christoph; Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Microbiology Seminars of the University of Lausanne Individual talk Sustaining and improving soil health with plant-beneficial bacteria 29.08.2014 University of Lausanne, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola;
Plant Pathology Seminary at ETHZ Individual talk Improving soil health with plant beneficial bacteria 07.07.2014 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology and International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control Poster Interplay of regulators controlling Fit insect toxin expression in the biocontrol bacterium Pseudomonas protegens 03.07.2014 Mainz, Germany Imperiali Nicola; Keel Christoph;
Seminary University of Southern Mississippi Individual talk Improving soil health with plant beneficial bacteria 30.04.2014 University of Southern Mississipi, Hattiesburg, United States of America Dennert Francesca;
Seminars in Microbiology Individual talk Plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria with insecticidal activities 16.04.2014 ETHZ, Switzerland Keel Christoph;
Agroscope Seminary Individual talk Battlefield Rhizosphere: How root-colonizing pseudomonads interact with plants, plant pathogens, predators and insects 15.01.2014 Agroscope Reckenholz Zürich, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Plant Pathology Seminary ETHZ Individual talk Improving soil health with plant beneficial bacteria 13.01.2014 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
Seminar Individual talk The secret life of plant-beneficial pseudomonads: from roots to insect guts 09.01.2014 Julius Kühn Institut Darmstadt, Germany Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Seminary at the University of Daugavpils Individual talk Battlefield rhizosphere: how root-colonizing pseudomonads interact with plants, plant pathogens, predators and insects 11.10.2013 Daugavpils, Latvia Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Seminary at the University of Latvia Individual talk Battlefield rhizosphere: how root-colonizing pseudomonads interact with plants, plant pathogens, predators and insects 09.10.2013 Riga, Latvia Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
14th International Conference on Pseudomonas Talk given at a conference Plant-beneficial pseudomonads as pathogens for insects 07.09.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Keel Christoph;
14th International Conference on Pseudomonas Poster Interplay of regulators controlling Fit insect toxin expression in the biocontrol bacterium Pseudomonas protegens 07.09.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola; Keel Christoph;
10th International Congress of Plant Pathology Talk given at a conference Do plant-associated insect toxin producing pseudomonads have the potential for the biocontrol of insect pests? 25.08.2013 Peking, China Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
14th Meeting of the IOBC/WPRS Working Group Insect Pathogens and Entomoparasitic Nematodes Talk given at a conference Do plant-associated insect toxin producing pseudomonads have the potential for the biocontrol of insect pests? 16.06.2013 Zagreb, Croatia Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
Kick off meeting of the National Research Programme NRP68 Poster Improving soil health with plant beneficial bacteria 07.06.2013 Ittingen, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Sourcon Padena Meeting on use of bacteria for biocontrol 20.01.2016 ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Stakeholder Meeting of the National Research Programme NFP68 Talk 13.01.2016 Bern, Switzerland Maurhofer Bringolf Monika;
PNR 68 - Biologie du sol: Focus sur les bactéries, mycorhizes et nématodes entomopathogènes Talk 26.11.2015 Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland Dennert Francesca;
PNR 68 - Biologie du sol Focus sur les bactéries, mycorhizes et nématodes entomopathogènes Talk 23.01.2014 University of Neuchàtel, Switzerland Imperiali Nicola; Keel Christoph;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
PNR 68 - Biologie du sol: Focus sur les bactéries, mycorhizes et nématodes entomopathogènes 26.11.2015 Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
The NRP project was presented in the years 2013-2016 in the frame of several courses to BSc Biology students (UNIL and ETHZ), and MSc Agricultural Sciences students (ETHZ) 03.11.2014 ETH Zürich and University Lausanne, Switzerland
PNR 68 - Biologie du sol Focus sur les bactéries, mycorhizes et nématodes entomopathogènes 23.01.2014 University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Les microbes sous la loupe, Open Days of the University of Lausanne Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: radio, television TV interview with UNIL vice-rector P. Moreillon and filming in labs of UNIL team - Independent Television News (ITN), London, UK International 2016
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Faktenblatt zum Internationalen Jahr des Bodens: Bodyguards der Pflanzenwurzeln Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Fin du labour et couvert végétal Swiss Radio RTS La 1ère - CFQD Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Soluzione radicale Televisione della svizzera italiana RSI Italian-speaking Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Teamwork mit dem Pilz: Bodentiere fördern schonende Landwirtschaft Die Grüne German-speaking Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
184666 Towards building microbial consortia for pest control: exploring adaptation to insect hosts and intraspecific diversity of pathogenicity and competition traits in insecticidal pseudomonads 01.05.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)
159520 Molecular determinants contributing to insect and plant associated lifestyles of beneficial pseudomonads 01.05.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
161904 Alginate beads as vehicles for the application of entomopathogenic nematodes and bacteria against economically important soil-dwelling pests 01.12.2015 NRP 68 Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource

Abstract

Soil health is of utmost importance for reliable high quality crop production. In Switzerland, as elsewhere, soil diseases and pests cause significant crop losses every year. Soil-dwelling fungal pathogens and insect pests, the main causal agents, are extremely difficult to control with conventional methods. Beneficial soil bacteria colonizing plant roots are well known as natural antagonists of soilborne diseases and promoters of soil health, in particular those belonging to the genus Pseudomonas. Since Swiss policies are increasingly promoting environment-friendly farming, it is of major interest to find ways to enhance the abundance and activity of natural populations of such biocontrol bacteria and to exploit their potential as soil additives for improving soil health.To advance knowledge on how to promote and sustain natural populations of beneficial bacteria, the first main objective of this project is to do a survey of pseudomonads harbouring plant-beneficial traits, i.e. antifungal and anti-insect activities, in representative Swiss agricultural soils used for cereal production and to investigate within the frame of five on-going long-term field trials performed by Agroscope ACW Changins, Agroscope ART Reckenholz and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) the impact of agricultural practices on the abundance and expression of these key traits involved in soil health. Abundance of plant-beneficial traits will be investigated using a quantitative PCR approach based on relevant plant-beneficial genes, i.e. in particular those required for the control of fungal diseases and insect pests. The ability of soils to sustain the expression of these plant-beneficial Pseudomonas traits will be studied using biosensor strains carrying autofluorescent protein-based reporter fusions. In addition, a metagenomic analysis of the investigated soils will be performed in collaboration with the project B. Duffy/T. Smits which will provide information on the diversity of the plant-beneficial pseudomonads present in the soils. Data on abundance and activity of biocontrol pseudomonads and their plant-beneficial traits and on their diversity will be related to data on the susceptibility/resistance of individual soils to soilborne diseases, with the aim to generate bio-indicator tools for monitoring soil health. Data will also be linked to bio-indicator data generated for pest-suppressing nematodes by the project of T. Turlings/M. Mascher and for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi by the project of M. van der Heijden/F. Oehl/C. Wagg who will investigate the same field sites.The second main objective is to take novel approaches for improving soil health by (i) application of select plant-beneficial pseudomonads with activity against both plant-deleterious fungi and insects, and (ii) by using optimal combinations of plant-beneficial bacteria and nematodes (in collaboration with the Turlings/Mascher project) to control soilborne diseases and pests. The third main objective of the present project will be to perform field trials together with the Turlings/Mascher and the van der Heijden/ Oehl/CWagg projects. In these field trials, we will investigate the effect of different microbial inoculants (disease and pest-suppressing pseudomonads, pest-suppressing nematodes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi), either alone or in combination, on the health and the performance of wheat. Research activities will focus on wheat-oriented cropping since wheat is the most important field crop and an important source of income for farmers. Wheat was produced on about 80’000 ha in 2010 in Switzerland, representing over 50% of the field surface, and domestic wheat production provides almost 80% of the wheat used for bread preparation.This project will provide important information (i) on the ability of representative Swiss agricultural soils to accumulate plant-beneficial pseudomonads and to sustain their activity, and (ii) on how cropping methods can be adapted to increase the soil’s own natural resistance to diseases and pests, a knowledge which is highly valuable to Swiss farmers and to any institution connected to agriculture and field crop production. If the project is successful, new biocontrol formulations and combinations of pseudomonads and nematodes for environmentally-sound plant protection will be established, which can then, in collaboration with biocontrol companies, be developed as new biocontrol product(s) to the benefit of Swiss farmers, gardeners and consumers. The research efforts taken by the present and the collaborating projects will most certainly reveal novel ways to sustain and possibly to further increase crop productivity and quality to the benefit of Swiss agriculture, without harming the environment.
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