Plant pathogenic Fungi cause serious diseases in various crops with a significant economic impact. Biocontrol is an effective and eco-friendly alternative to chemical treatments. Microbes and their products are powerful tools to contrast and solve such issues. For instance, actinomycetes produce a variety of active molecules including antibacterial and antifungal compounds. They are usually soil born microbes, but are able to colonize other environments such as plants and the human body. Few of them have been characterized as plant or human pathogens, while many others carry beneficial traits. An interdisciplinary approach is essential for the discovery and development of new biocontrol agents. In our lab, we are combining genomic information, genetic manipulation techniques and analytical chemistry to screen and identify strains with antifungal activity.
We are currently screening actinomycete strains isolated from soil and clinical samples against selected plant pathogenic Fungi. Metabolites from strains with strong antifungal activity will be extracted and further analysed for the identification of active compounds. In addition, we will investigate the relationship of interesting strains with selected crops.

Cíle práce: 

Student tasks:
- characterization of secondary metabolite gene cluster for the production of antifungal compounds (strains with whole genome available)
- metabolite extraction from actinomycetes with strong antifungal activity
- investigation of plant microbe interaction

Materiál a metody: 

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