Dynamics and Functions of Phyllosphere Microbiota

Almost all plant tissues harbor microorganisms. These  microbial communities are hyperdiverse, and we are currently far from a proper understanding of their structure, dynamics and functional role. The phyllosphere, commonly defined as the aerial surface of leaves, is a microbial habitat of particular relevance owing to its situation at the interface between the host plant and the atmosphere. Phyllosphere microorganisms can modulate the resistance of plants against multiple stresses (such as drought, pests or diseases) and could hence play a non-negligible role in their response to modern climate change.

We study phyllosphere microbial communities within an evolutionary ecology framework. We combine network ecology, environmental genomics and plant physiology to analyze the dynamics of microbial communities and networks, and assess their influence on plant performance and ecosystem functions. We also study the microbiota of other aerial plant organs and tissues (wood, seeds) to better understand the transmission routes of the microbiota.

We have three main goals:

  • To better understand the protective role of the canopy microbiota against multiple stresses
  • To decipher the transmission routes of the canopy microbiota
  • To apply our findings to plant health management (biocontrol, plant breeding)


Phyllosphere microbial network