Jacques Monod Conference co-organized by INRA, CNRS and Labex ARBRE : Bacterial-fungal interactions: a federative field for fundamental and applied microbiology

7-11 December, Roscoff (Brittany), France

PI: Pascale Frey-Klett (UMR1136 – INRA, Université de Lorraine, “Tree-Microbe interactions”, INRA, Centre de Nancy, Champenoux, France)

Collaborations: Aurélie Deveau, INRA Nancy ; Alain Sarniguet, INRA Rennes ; Deborah Hogan, Dartmouth Medical College, Hannover, USA.



Historically, the classical separation of microbiological research between bacteriologists and mycologists has led to the study of bacteria and fungi in gnotobiotic settings. This compartmentalization has overlooked the fact that in many environments bacteria and fungi coexist and interact, forming physically and metabolically interdependent consortia that harbour distinct properties from their single components. These mixed consortia are of central practical importance in an exceptionally diverse variety of fields including agriculture, forestry, environmental and cultural heritage protections, food processing, biotechnology, and medicine.

In each of the disciplines to which bacterial-fungal interactions (BFIs) are important, research has progressed somewhat differently. This is likely a reflection of their distinct contexts but also a reflection of a lack of interaction between researchers working in these different areas. However, many commonalities exist between the BFIs in these different settings and a greater appreciation of them would help scientists to identify potentially relevant studies outside of their normal speciality, a step that is often important when searching for new hypotheses, methods or collaborators. In this conference, we attempt to bridge this gap by encouraging micobiologists from all these fields to meet and exchange their knowledge and competencies, and to stimulate them to consider other systems in which parallels to their own field may exist.

By not focusing exclusively on one area of application, the Jacques Monod Conference seek to generate a novel unifying perspective on BFIs that enables the identification fundamental themes, mechanisms and areas of mutual interest. It will be organized around four major themes: (i) the applications of fungal-bacterial interactions, from soil to medicine and from food processing to protection of environment and cultural heritage, (ii) the physical complexes between bacteria and fungi, (iii) the ecology of the interactions between bacteria and fungi, and (iv) the molecular mechanisms of the interactions and communication between bacteria and fungi. To stimulate discussions and reveal commonalities and differences that exist in different BFI contexts, each session will gather scientists coming from distant application fields.