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Fernando Sorroche

Fernando Sorroche

session, year:
2012 1st

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
UMR LIPM, Laboratory of Plant Microbes Interactions, Toulouse

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Mobility project

cAMP signalling and infection in the Medicago symbiont, Sinorhizobium meliloti

A currently active area of rhizobium-legume symbiosis research is the identification of the mechanisms that sustain the mutualistic character of the interaction between the plant and bacteria partners. Jacques Batut’s laboratory recently showed that rhizobia play an active role during the symbiosis in preventing excessive epidermal infection thread (IT) formation and in coordinating IT formation and nodulation, hereby contributing to optimization of infection. This process involves the first ever-characterized cAMP signaling cascade in rhizobia consisting of three receptor-like adenylate cyclases, a Crp-like regulator, and a target gene of unknown function which is specifically activated by an unknown signal synthesized by the legume M. truncatula during nodule organogenesis.   My aim is to identify the plant signal that activates the signaling cascade in Sinorhizobium meliloti and to elucidate the mode of perception and transduction of this signal by rhizobial adenylate cyclases. For signal identification, complementary strategies will be applied in parallel. Preliminary biochemical information indicates that the signal may be a labile peptide or small protein. In collaboration with Véréna Poinsot (IMRCP Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse) we plan to purify and determine the structure of the plant signal. In a genetic approach, a set of M. truncatula symbiotic mutants will be systematically screened aiming to find plants unable to activate the rhizobial signaling cascade, allowing us to determine at which level of the plant symbiotic program the signal is synthesized. Finally, in order to explore signal perception and transduction by the rhizobia, we will use S. meliloti mutants displaying alterations in cascade signaling patterns.

Biography & research interests

I have a Microbiology Degree from Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto (UNRC), Argentina. I did my final research project with Dr Elizabeth Agostini, using transformed hairy roots cultures as a tool for bio-transformations of natural products. During my PhD in the lab of Dr Walter Giordano (UNRC), I worked with biofilms formed by Sinorhizobium meliloti, an alfa-proteobacterium that fixes nitrogen in symbiosis with Medicago plants. As a result of an American Society for Microbiology fellowship I explored similar aspects in plant symbiotic beta-proteobacteria with Dr Ann Hirsch at UCLA. In 2012, I joined Nora Ausmees group (Lunds Universitet, Sweden) as a postdoctoral researcher to work on a project involving the development of a novel approach to unravel the molecular mechanisms of polar growth and the role of cytoskeleton in cellular differentiation in Streptomyces coelicolor. In September 2013, as a result of being awarded an AgreenSkills fellowship, I moved to Jacques Batut’s lab (LIPM, Inra-Toulouse, France) to work again with S. meliloti, exploring a newly discovered instance of signal exchange during the legume-bacteria symbiosis. I pursued this project in Patrice Polard Team in the University of Toulouse up to March 2018.

Selected publications

Garnerone, A.M., Sorroche, F., Zou, L., MathieuDemazière, C., Tian, C.F., Masson-Boivin, C., Batut, J., 2018. NsrA, a predicted β-barrel outer membrane protein involved in plant signal perception and the control of secondary infection in Sinorhizobium meliloti. Journal of Bacteriology. Doi: 10.1128/JB.00019-18.

Zou, L., Gastebois, A., Mathieu-Demazière, C., Sorroche, F., Masson-Boivin, C., Batut, J.,Garnerone, A.M., 2017. Transcriptomic Insight in the Control of Legume Root Secondary Infection by the Sinorhizobium meliloti Transcriptional Regulator Clr. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:1236. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01236.

Bogino, P.C.; Oliva, M.M.; Sorroche, F.G.; Giordano, W., 2013. The Role of Bacterial Biofilms and Surface Components in Plant-Bacterial Associations. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14:15838-15859.

Sorroche, F.G., Spesia, M., Zorreguieta, A., Giordano, W., 2012. A positive correlation between bacterial autoaggregation and biofilm formation in native Sinorhizobium meliloti isolates from Argentina. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70(12): 4092-4101.

Sorroche, F.G. & Giordano, W., 2012. PCR Analysis of expR Gene Regulating Biosynthesis of Exopolysaccharides in Sinorhizobium meliloti. Biochem Mol Biol Edu. 40(2): 108-111.

Awards & patents

2014. Novelisé 2014. Festival La Novela. Toulouse

2010. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) International Fellowship Award.

2005. Córdoba Ministry of Education Award to the Highest Average Grade in Microbiology (class 2005) at Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto.

2005. Río Cuarto National University Award to the Second Highest Average grade of the School of Exact, Physical-Chemical and Natural Sciences

2000. Ministry of Education of the Argentinean Republic. Distinction with silver medal for participation in IBO 2000 (International Biology Olympiad). Antalya, Turkey (2000).

2000. San Rafael Council of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Distinction with medal. Best Oenologist and Agriculture Technician Award, class 2000. San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina.

2000. Pascual Iaccarini Oenology and Agriculture School Award to the Highest Average Grade and Best Oenologist.

Talks in annual meetings

Camp signalling in rhizobia
2013 / P2 Tissue and Individual / by Fernando Sorroche / Fellows Speed Presentation


Rhizobium, legume, symbiosis, infection, cAMP, signalling