Research - Institute of Biochemistry - Symbiosis and Functional Genomics Unit

Institute of Biochemistry
Symbiosis and Functional Genomics Unit

Éva KONDOROSI
head of research unit
research professor

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Laboratory of Plant Genomics
Éva KONDOROSI - head of research group, research professor
Attila KERESZT - head of research group, senior research associate
Laboratory of Microbial Genomics
Éva KONDOROSI - head of research group, research professor
Gergely MARÓTI - head of research group, research associate

SYMBIOSIS AND FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS UNIT

Microbes interact with most multicellular species and participate in both beneficial and harmful partnerships. Despite the ubiquity of this phenomenon, we are only at an early stage to resolve major patterns of symbiont ecology and evolution.

Research in the Unit focuses on host-symbiont co-evolutionary dynamics and levels of selection, the coordination of gene expression and gene product sharing across partners with a special emphasis on the expression and role of antimicrobial type peptides that have a presumptive key function in regulating the symbiotic partnership, in discriminating between beneficial and harmful microbial encounters.

Until recently, only a few symbiotic systems were known such as the nitrogen fixing interaction between legume plants and Rhizobium bacteria. Today symbiotic associations can be interrogated by a range of cultivation independent high-throughput - including metagenomics - methods that reveal the total complement of a particular class of biological molecules: genes, transcripts, proteins, lipids, metabolites. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) opened a new horizon in the discovery of the molecular basis of symbioses.



Figure 1. Root nodules on legume plants (A) contain the symbiotic plant cells packed with nitrogen fixing bacteria (B) that are similar to symbiotic cells in other organisms such as the bacterium-filled insect symbiotic cells (C).