19th International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants

March 17-19, 2018, Vincci Marillia Hotel, Hammamet, Tunisia

Organized by University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia with Support of University of Carthage, Tunisia and Manouba University, Tunisia Co-Sponsored by COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad

An International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants was held in Vincci Marillia Hotel, Hammamet, Tunisia from 17th to 19th of March, 2018. This meeting was the 19th of the series that began in 1978 at Harvard Forest, USA and organized by JG Torrey and JD Tjepkema. This biennial event is organized for the first time in Africa( 7X in USA, 3X in France, 2X in Sweden and 1X in Canada, 1X in New Zealand, 1X in The Netherlands,1X in Argentina, 1X in Portugal and 1X in India).

This scientific event gathered 32 scientists from Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, India, Portugal, Senegal, Sweden, UK, USA and Tunisia. The International Meeting was inaugurated by Professor Abdellatif Boudabous, President of the National Committee for Evaluation of Scientific Research Activities (CNEARS), Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology, Tunisia.

The plenary lecture was given by Professor Jean Armenguad, CEA, INRA, F-30207, Bagnols sur Cèze, France, who outlined the great input of proteogenomics and metaproteomics for environmental microbiology particularly with bacteria recalcitrant to genetic manipulation such as Frankia.

The 19th International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants was subdivided in three sessions that reported the main recent developments that have occurred since the previous meeting held from the 24th to the 27th of August 2015 in Montpellier, France.

The first session: Frankia was opened by Professor Katharina Pawlowski, Stockholm University, Sweden, who reported the progress on the earliest divergent Frankia cluster from metagenomic data. Professor Louis S. Tisa, University of New Hamsphire, USA, presented his recent accomplishments for genes, genomes and genetics of Frankia and non-Frankia bacteria involved in the actinorhizal symbiosis. Dr. Imen Nouioui of the Newcastle University, United Kingdom, reported the putative biotechnological potentials of Frankia in cancer therapy and as source of new antibiotics. Dr. Celine Pesce, University of New Hamsphire, USA, presented the first successful genetic transformation of Frankia strains using CRISPR Cas9 approach. Dr. Medhat Rehan, Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt, reported the detoxification and reduction of selenite to elemental red selenium by Frankia strains. Dr. Erik Swanson, University of New Hamsphire, USA also reported the dioxin-like compound degradation by Frankia strains. A comprehensive profiling of carbohydrate activated enzymes in Frankia was presented by Dr. Indrani Sarkar, University of North Bengal, India.

The session 2: Actinorhizal Plants was opened by Prof. Ana I. Ribeiro-Barros, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, who reported the proteome and metabolome analysis of branchlets from nodulated and non-nodulated Casuarina glauca Sieb. ex Spreng grown under salinity conditions. Research and use of actinorhizal plant Casuarina trees in China was the subject of the presentation given by Prof.Chonglu Zhong, Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, China. Dr. Sabrine Ghazouani, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia, presented results on phytoaccumulation of heavy metals and biochemical changes in Casuarina glauca grown in composed animal foodstuffs industry wastewater irrigated soil. The effects of plant stress hormones on the establishment of actinorhizal symbiosis in Casuarina glauca and Comparative salt tolerance study of Casuarina equisetifolia (L.) and Casuarina obese (Miq.) inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Rhizophagus fasciculatum) and Frankia strain (CcI6) was presented by Dr.Mariama Ngom, Centre de Recherche de Bel Air, Sénégal. Dr. Ridha Slaimi from the National Institute for Research in Rural Engineering Water and Forestry, reported data related on the use of Casuarina glauca Sieb to improve the treated waste water quality.

The last session on Plant-Microbe interactions was opened by Professor Luis G Wall, University of Quilmes, Argentina, who presented the major plant cellular remodelling associated with intercellular Frankia root colonization of the actinorhizal host Discaria trinervis revealed through site-specific subtilase gene expression. An update on the signaling molecules involved in actinorhizal symbioses was given by Prof. Alyssa Carre-Mlouka, Tropical & Mediterranean Symbioses Laboratory, LSTM, IRD, France. An experimental modeling Frankia-actinorhizal plant symbiosis: competition between strains and sanction of the host plant was presented by Dr. Mouadh Saadaoui from the University Carthage. Dr. Karima Hezbri, University of Tunis El Manar, reported the endophyte and epiphyte bacterial communities from the phytosphere of an actinorhizal tree: Casuarina sp grown in Tunisia. The proteogenomic data for deciphering the earlier step of recognition between the two partners of the symbiosis was treated by two presentations by Doctors Amir Ktari and Abdellatif Gueddou from the University of Carthage.

Manuscripts based on the 19th International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants Hammamet will be considered for possible peer-review publications in a Special Issue in Antonie van Leeuwenhoek – Springer ISSN: 0003-6072 (print version), ISSN: 1572-9699 (electronic version) , Journal no. 10482 Editor-in-Chief: Iain Sutcliffe

http://www.springer.com/life+sciences/microbiology/journal/10482 .

Contact Person

Dr. Maher Gtari
Department of Biological & Chemical Engineering,
National Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (INSAT),
University of Carthage,
Tunisia
maher.gtari@insat.rnu.tn

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