The ‘Ecogenomics of Interactions’ Lab is one of the three teams of the ‘Tree-Microbe Interactions’ Department. Our group is conducting research on the biology and ecology of tree-associated microorganisms in forest ecosystems.
Our group seeks to explore and understand the network of genes, proteins, metabolites, and environmental signals that lead to the complex ectomycorrhizal symbiosis in forest trees. We are investigating the role of mycorrhizal and saprophytic fungi in organic matter degradation and necromass turn-over. We are also investigating the molecular interactions between foliar rust and poplar. Interactions between rhizospheric bacteria and ectomycorrhizal mycelium, bacteria/bacteria are studied to assess the mechanisms involved and their role in nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems (e.g. mineral weathering) and tree nutrition. Several research projects are dealing with the ecology of populations and communities of ectomycorrhizal fungi.
Our research initiative aimed to decipher the complex tree-fungus-bacteria systems engages disciplines across the laboratory. In particular, it draws on programs in comparative and functional genomics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, environmental microbiology and ecology.
Our approach relies upon the most recent genomics and metagenomics techniques and focuses on black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa, the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor, and the (mycor)rhizospheric bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Collimonas and Caballeronia as the reference organisms.
Harnessing the capabilities of microbial systems by understanding interactions at genomic, physiological, organism, and community levels will lead to better sustainable forest ecosystems.