Cryo-EM investigation of LysM receptors and calcium decoders governing plant-microbe interactions

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Kasper Røjkjær Andersen


Aarhus University


DKK 4,999,929




Semper Ardens: Accelerate


Plants and microbes interact and form symbioses that benefit both organisms. Examples of this are nitrogen-fixation by legume-bacteria symbiosis, phosphate supply by plant-fungi symbiosis and plant disease resilience facilitated by commensal bacteria. To ensure a specific communication with microbes plants both a perception system and a decoding system have evolved to control that beneficial microbes can interact and colonize the plant while harmful microbes are denied access. This project seeks to understand in molecular details how plants interpret microbes using receptors and calcium signal decoders.


This grant from the Carlsberg Foundation will allow us to move into structural-functional analysis of receptors and calcium decoders, which represents critical fundamental knowledge with clear biotechnology potential for harnessing the benefits associated with plant-microbe interactions, like biological nitrogen fixation in root nodules.


We will use a combination of protein biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology to understand the molecular mechanism of plant-microbe communications at atomic resolution. This knowledge will help guide our efforts to engineer plants to be less dependent on chemical fertilisers and pesticides but obtain these benefits from microbial associations instead.

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