Plants respond to and must distinguish between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria (‘friend and foe’) surrounding them. Bacteria may manipulate the plant’s immune system to allow colonialization or can be resistant to plant defence responses such as the biosynthesis of specialized metabolites. It has been increasingly shown that plant responses occur in a cell type specific manner but single cell research has not yet been extensively explored in plant. Here, I propose to apply a state of the art in vivo protein proximity labelling technique to investigate responses to beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in the Arabidopsis thaliana root including the cell type specific level. The first objective of the proposed research is to determine if and to which extent there are differential plant responses to pathogenic and beneficial bacteria with Plant Growth Promoting effects (PGPB), which processes or specialized metabolites are involved in these responses and which regulatory proteins control these responses. This will be achieved through a multi-omics approach for which I will generate nuclear proteome data through protein proximity labelling, RNA-seq and metabolite data from A. thaliana seedlings exposed to a pathogen versus a PGPB. The second objective of this research will be to investigate the response regulation to a PGPB and a pathogen in specific root cell types by generating cell type specific nuclear proteome data. As the third objective I will determine the role of specific regulatory protein candidates from objectives 1 and 2 and their target cell type specific processes such as specialized metabolism or root development through individual gene by gene experiments. The proposed research will provide new insights into how plant responses to ‘friend or foe’ are regulated in different cell types. The generated datasets will be valuable for the community and provide a starting point for my own future independent research career.
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