Current Genetics

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 233–243

Inter-kingdom encounters: recent advances in molecular bacterium–fungus interactions

  • Mika T. Tarkka
  • Alain Sarniguet
  • Pascale Frey-Klett

DOI: 10.1007/s00294-009-0241-2

Cite this article as:
Tarkka, M.T., Sarniguet, A. & Frey-Klett, P. Curr Genet (2009) 55: 233. doi:10.1007/s00294-009-0241-2


Interactions between bacteria and fungi are well known, but it is often underestimated how intimate and decisive such associations can be with respect to behaviour and survival of each participating organism. In this article we review recent advances in molecular bacterium–fungus interactions, combining the data of different model systems. Emphasis is given to the positive or negative consequences these interactions have on the microbe accommodating plants and animals. Intricate mechanisms of antagonism and tolerance have emerged, being as important for the biological control of plants against fungal diseases as for the human body against fungal infections. Bacterial growth promoters of fungal mycelium have been characterized, and these may as well assist plant-fungus mutualism as disease development in animals. Some of the toxins that have been previously associated with fungi are actually produced by endobacteria, and the mechanisms that lie behind the maintenance of such exquisite endosymbioses are fascinating. Bacteria do cause diseases in fungi, and a synergistic action between bacterial toxins and extracellular enzymes is the hallmark of such diseases. The molecular study of bacterium–fungus associations has expanded our view on microbial communication, and this promising field shows now great potentials in medicinal, agricultural and biotechnological applications.


Antagonism Disease Mycorrhiza Biocontrol Quorum sensing Secondary metabolites 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mika T. Tarkka
    • 1
  • Alain Sarniguet
    • 2
  • Pascale Frey-Klett
    • 3
  1. 1.UFZ, Department of Soil EcologyHelmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchHalleGermany
  2. 2.INRA, Agrocampus Ouest-Université Rennes 1UMR1099 BiO3P ‘Biologie des Organismes et des Populations Appliquée à la Protection des Plantes’Le RheuFrance
  3. 3.INRAUMR1136 INRA-UHP ‘Interactions Arbres/Micro-organismes’, IFR 110, Centre de NancyChampenouxFrance

Personalised recommendations