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Burkholderia spp. and the environmental microbiome: are the interactions in lung and rhizo-sphere similar?


Burkholderia spp. is a main component of the sugarcane bacterial community in Brazil, which controls fungal infections by producing different antifungal compounds secreted in response to the presence of phytopathogenic fungi. We have shown that strains with high-level intrinsic antimicrobial resistance (iAMR) and increased bacterial virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model display higher capacity to inhibit sugarcane pathogenic fungi, suggesting that the ability to colonize the rhizosphere and cause infection could be interrelated. The long-term goal of this programme is to find new ways to maximise the beneficial properties of Burkholderia in the field (e.g. antifungal production) and improve our understanding of the interaction of these bacteria with the local microbiome in planta and also in cystic fibrosis patients. In the ongoing FAPESP project, Prof. Araujo is identifying the molecular mechanisms responsible for the ability of B. seminalis to control plant disease and inhibit fungi. The Sprint exchange programme activity with QUB will assess the hypothesis that mechanisms associated to interactions between the Burkholderia species and environmental microbiome in the rhizosphere and lung are similar. To this end, we will blend expertise in molecular microbiology, metagenomics, and infection disease models in plants and mice to better understand the Burkholderia-microbiome interactions in plants and lungs. We predict our approach will potentially result in novel ways to understand the evolution of the Burkholderia chronic infection in cystic fibrosis patients.Visits of the QUB team to the Microbiology Department, ICB/USP, and the USP team to QUB will foster discussion and planning of the scientific activities that will be performed during the development of the ongoing FAPESP project and the identification and execution of key pilot experiments to develop preliminary data for future grant funding (see section F for details). Also, students of the Araujo lab will visit the Valvano/Ingram lab at QUB to perform additional pilot experiments investigating Burkholderia interactions in the animal host, allowing to test the infectivity of mutants defective in fungi biocontrol in animal models. QUB team visits at ICB/USP will take the format of workshops and seminars to foster discussion of the most recent results and their impact in the progress of the ongoing FAPESP project. Further, Prof. Valvano and Dr. Ingram will participate in a Post-graduate course of the Microbiology Post-graduate programme at ICB/USP giving lectures to Ph.D. and masters students.As a result of these exchange activities, we expect to prepare a joining proposal for understand how the Burkholderia species interact with the microbiome of the rhizosphere and the lung of cystic fibrosis patients. Therefore, the research that will be carried out by the partner researcher at QUB, will allow to identify how Burkholderia spp. interact with the microbiome present in chronic infection of lung of cystic fibrosis patients and compare it with the interactions with the rhizosphere microbiome. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ROMERO-GUTIERREZ, KARENT J.; DOURADO, MANUELLA N.; GARRIDO, LEANDRO M.; OLCHANHESKI, LUIZ RICARDO; MANO, EMY T.; DINI-ANDREOTE, FRANCISCO; VALVANO, MIGUEL A.; ARAUJO, WELINGTON L.. Phenotypic traits of Burkholderia spp. associated with ecological adaptation and plant-host interaction. MICROBIOLOGICAL RESEARCH, v. 236, . (17/12510-4, 11/11271-0, 12/24217-6, 18/22127-6, 15/11563-1)

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