Plant-Microbe Interactions

Plants are colonized by a multitude of microbes, some of which can cause devastating diseases while others can improve plant growth and health. Our group is interested in the interactions of plant-beneficial bacteria with plant pathogens and the plant host.

Plant-beneficial rhizobacteria are used as biological control agents in crop protection. However, efficacy often varies depending on the application context, such as the plant host, pathogen species, or soil type, which is a major obstacle to a successful application. To resolve this context dependency, a better understanding of the ecological versatility of rhizobacteria is critical. The ecological interactions of rhizobacteria are very complex and often still elusive. Recent work, for instance, has demonstrated that arthropods could represent important alternative hosts and potential vectors for plant-associated rhizobacteria.

We aim to unravel the ecology of plant-beneficial rhizobacteria, especially of the Pseudomonas fluorescens group. We want to understand their interactions with plants and insect hosts, pathogenic microbes, and the environment.

A second focus in our group is on understanding the disease-suppressive activity of compost microbiomes. Compost applications are an effective and environmentally friendly means to prevent soil-borne diseases, but their activity varies and cannot be predicted prior to application. In collaboration with FiBL and Agroscope, we are trying to shed light on how the compost microbiome suppresses soil-borne diseases.

Pascale Flury’s group is part of the Plant-Microbe Interactions Group, led by Prof. Klaus Schlaeppi and located at the Department of Environmental Sciences. She is also involved in teaching at bachelor and master levels and gives lectures, for example, on plant-microbe interactions or plant protection.

  • The secret life of plant-beneficial rhizosphere bacteria: insects as alternative hosts
    Pronk, LJU; Bakker, PAHM; (...); Flury, P
    Environmental Microbiology, 10.1111/1462-2920.15968, Aug 2022
  • Transcriptome plasticity underlying plant root colonization and insect invasion by Pseudomonas protegens
    Vesga, P; Flury, P; (...); Maurhofer, M
    ISME Journal, 10.1038/s41396-020-0729-9, Nov 2020
  • Persistence of root-colonizing Pseudomonas protegens in herbivorous insects throughout different developmental stages and dispersal to new host plants
    Flury, P; Vesga, P; (...); Maurhofer, M
    ISME Journal, 10.1038/s41396-018-0317-4, Apr 2019 |
  • Antimicrobial and Insecticidal: Cyclic Lipopeptides and Hydrogen Cyanide Produced by Plant-Beneficial Pseudomonas Strains CHA0, CMR12a, and PCL1391 Contribute to Insect Killing
    Flury, P; Vesga, P; (...); Maurhofer, M
    Frontiers in Microbiology, 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00100, Feb 3 2017
  • Specific surface glycan decorations enable antimicrobial peptide resistance in plant-beneficial pseudomonads with insect-pathogenic properties
    Kupferschmied, P; Chai, TC; (...); Keel, C
    Environmental Microbiology, 10.1111/1462-2920.13571, Nov 2016
  • Insect pathogenicity in plant-beneficial pseudomonads: phylogenetic distribution and comparative genomics
    Flury, P; Aellen, N; (...); Maurhofer, M
    ISME Journal, 10.1038/ismej.2016.5, Oct 2016
  • Looking BAK again: Is an old acquaintance of innate immunity involved in the detection of herbivores?
    Klauser, D; Flury, P; Boller, T: Merker, S
    Plant Signaling and Behaviour, 10.1080/15592324.2016.1252014, 2016 | 11 (11)
Pascale Flury Uni Basel

Dr. Pascale Flury
University of Basel
Department of Environmental Sciences
4056 Basel

+41 61 207 23 28

  • Phytopathology
  • Ecology of plant-beneficial bacteria
  • Biocontrol of diseases and pests
  • Plant-beneficial effects of compost microbes
  • Interactions of plant-associated bacteria with insects
  • Biology of plant pathogens
  • Multi-trophic interactions (Microbe-Plant-Insect interactions)
  • Microbial ecology
  • Crop protection
  • Plant immunity