Fungus-associated bacteriome in charge of their host behaviour

Kristin Schulz-Bohm, Olaf Tyc, Wietse De Boer, Nils Peereboom, Fons Debets, Niels Zaagman, Thierry K.S. Janssens, Paolina Garbeva (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract Bacterial-fungal interactions are widespread in nature and there is a growing number of studies reporting distinct fungus-associated bacteria. However, little is known so far about how shifts in the fungus-associated bacteriome will affect the fungal host’s lifestyle. In the present study, we describe for the first time the bacterial community associated with the saprotrophic fungus Mucor hiemalis, commonly found in soil and rhizosphere. Two broad-spectrum antibiotics that strongly altered the bacterial community associated with the fungus were applied. Our results revealed that the antibiotic treatment did not significantly reduce the amount of bacteria associated to the fungus but rather changed the community composition by shifting from initially dominating Alpha-Proteobacteria to dominance of Gamma-Proteobacteria. A novel approach was applied for the isolation of fungal-associated bacteria which also revealed differences between bacterial isolates obtained from the original and the antibiotic-treated M. hiemalis. The shift in the composition of the fungal-associated bacterial community led to significantly reduced fungal growth, changes in fungal morphology, behavior and secondary-metabolites production. Furthermore, our results showed that the antibiotic-treated isolate was more attractive and susceptible to mycophagous bacteria as compared to the original isolate. Overall, our study highlights the importance of the fungus-associated bacteriome for the host’s lifestyle and interactions and indicate that isolation with antibacterials is not sufficient to eradicate the associated bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Early online date30 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Mucor hiemalis
  • Fungal bacteriome
  • Fungal behaviour
  • Volatiles
  • Interactions
  • national


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