Mycophagous soil bacteria

Promovendus Max Rudnick
Promotor prof.dr. W (Wietse) de Boer
Copromotor Prof. dr JA van Veen
Organisatie Wageningen University, Department of Soil Quality

vr 13 februari 2015 13:30 tot 15:00

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


The soil beneath our feed is full of bacteria but devoid of nutrients. This is why bacteria have to struggle to find food. Some bacteria are able to eat living fungal tissue. This is called “mycophagy”. In my thesis, I studied already known mycophagous bacteria and I also discovered bacteria that were not known to be able to eat fungi. I found that mycophagous bacteria a) are abundant in the zone around plant roots, 2) use specific compounds, secreted by fungi to find the fungal food and move towards it, 3) are very motile (especially when food is scarce), 4) have different preferences for fungal food and use different substances to interact with the fungus, and 5) are sometimes similar to bacteria that could potentially cause plant disease.