The sessile nature of plants dictates a constant interaction with the environment; plant produced metabolites are one of the key mediators of these numerous interactions with bacteria, fungi and herbivores.
The fourth expertise cluster in the lab and the most recently established one includes scientists with knowledge in microbiology.
At this stage we have started to investigate the underground world of plants with respect to the chemical communication between roots produced and secreted specialized metabolites and their impact on microbiome composition.
To allow such multi-organismal interaction study, we have developed several experimental platforms (in soil as well as hydroponics) including a microfluidic-based system allowing kinetic studies of root-bacteria interaction with high-resolution microscopy. In the near future this expertise cluster will be expanded with scientists having plant - fungi and plant – herbivory backgrounds.