Volatile-mediated impact of bacteria on plants

Plant-microbe Interactions, Phytopathology, Microbiology

Understanding how organisms communicate to establish mutualistic interactions is our key research interest. We focus on plant-associated bacteria and study their ability to emit volatile compounds that protect plants against diseases. We work with well-established model plants like Arabidopsis thaliana, as well as with crops of agricultural relevance such as potato, tomato and grapevine. Our research spans from fundamental understanding of beneficial plant-microbe interactions to the application of the acquired knowledge for sustainable crop protection.

Recent Publications

  • A sulfur-containing volatile emitted by potato-associated bacteria confers protection against late blight through direct anti-oomycete activity
    Chinchilla, Delphine; Bruisson, Sebastien; Meyer, Silvan; Zuehlke, Daniela; Hirschfeld, Claudia; et al.
    Scientific Reports,  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-55218-3, DEC 30 2019
  • Endophytes and Epiphytes From the Grapevine Leaf Microbiome as Potential Biocontrol Agents Against Phytopathogens
    Bruisson, Sebastien; Zufferey, Monica; L'Haridon, Floriane; Trutmann, Eva; Anand, Abhishek; et al.
    Frontiers In Microbiology,  DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02726, Published: NOV 29 2019
  • Airborne medicine: bacterial volatiles and their influence on plant health
    Garbeva, Paolina; Weisskopf, Laure
    New Phytologist,  DOI: 10.1111/nph.16282, Early Access: NOV 2019
  • Spotlight on how microbes influence their host's behavior
    Weisskopf, L; Newton, ILG; Berry, D; Webster, NS
    ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 10.1111/1462-2920.14757
  • Combining Different Potato-Associated Pseudomonas Strains for Improved Biocontrol of Phytophthora infestans
    De Vrieze, M; Germanier, F; Vuille, N; Weisskopf, L
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 9 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02573 OCT 29 2018
  • Microbial life in the grapevine: what can we expect from the leaf microbiome?
    Vionnet L, De Vrieze M, Dutartre A, Gfeller A, Luthi A, L'Haridon F &  Weisskopf L (2018).
    OenoOne 52 (3) (online https://doi.org/10.20870/oeno-one.2018.52.3.2120).
  • Mining the Volatilomes of Plant-Associated Microbiota for New Biocontrol Solutions 
    Bailly, Aurelien; Weisskopf, Laure 
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 8; https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01638 AUG 25 2017
  • Long-Chain Alkyl Cyanides: Unprecedented Volatile Compounds Released by Pseudomonas and Micromonospora Bacteria 
    Montes Vidal D, von Rymon-Lipinski AL, Ravella S, Groenhagen U, Herrmann J, Zaburannyi N, Zarbin PHG, Varadarajan AR, Ahrens CH, Weisskopf L, Müller R, Schulz S
    ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 56 (15): 4342-4346 10.1002/anie.201611940  APR 3 2017
  • Smelly Fumes: Volatile-Mediated Communication between Bacteria and Other Organisms 
    Weisskopf L, RYU C-M, Raaijmakers JM & Garbeva P
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 7:  10.3389/fmicb.2016.02031 DEC 20 2016
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying the close association between soil Burkholderia and fungi
    Stopnisek N, Zuehlke D, Carlier A, Barberan, Fierer N, Becher D, Riedel K, Eberl L & Weisskopf L.
    ISME Journal 10: 253-264 10.1038/ismej.2015.73 2016
  • The Anti-Phytophthora Effect of Selected Potato-Associated Pseudomonas Strains: From the Laboratory to the Field
    Guyer A; De Vrieze M; Boenisch D; Gloor R; Musa T; Bodenhausen N;, Bailly A; Weisskopf L
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY  6 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01309  NOV 27 2015
  • Volatile Organic Compounds from Native Potato-associated Pseudomonas as Potential Anti-oomycete Agents
    De Vrieze M; Pandey P; Bucheli, TD; Varadarajan AR; Ahrens CH; Weisskopf L; Bailly A
    FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 6   10.3389/fmicb.2015.01295  NOV 23 2015
Laure Weisskopf

Prof. Dr. Laure Weisskopf
University of Fribourg
Department of Biology
1700 Fribourg

Tel: +41 (0)26 300 88 11

Research topics

  • Chemical communication between bacteria, plants and plant pathogens
  • Molecular regulation of bacterial volatile emission
  • Physiological effects of bacterial volatiles in target organisms
  • Bacterial volatiles and sustainable crop protection



  • Plant-microbe interactions
  • Induced systemic resistance
  • Chemistry of volatile-mediated communication
  • Bioinformatics
  • Crop protection