The Laboratory of Microbial Interactions
The Laboratory of Microbial Interactions, under the direction of Dr. Laila Pamela Partida Martínez, started in August 2010 at the CINVESTAV – Irapuato and has as a major goal the study of microbes and their interactions with the environment. Microbes are critical for the global ecological balance and they are part of most, if not all, living organisms on Earth (even defining them!). The “omics” technics such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics together with classical and well established biochemical and microbiological methods allow nowdays a better understanding of the complex networks and interactions microbes are involved. Such interactions have proved important and useful not only for the discovery of active biological products and novel species, but also for the understanding of their ecological role, their diversity and evolution.
Under this perspective, one of the main objectives of this Laboratory is the study of the microbes associated with plants, especially Cactus and Agaves due to their economical, cultural and ecological relevance.
The fundamental questions of this research area can be summarized in the following questions:
- Which microbes are symbionts of these plants?
- What makes the symbiosis work?
- How has the symbiosis evolved and how this has modeled each partner?
- Is plant diversity related to microbial diversity?
The answer to these questions, besides contributing to the scientific interest, could also lead to some applications such as:
- Plant improvement by microbial endophytes (growth promoters, biocontrol agents, etc.)
- Discovery and production of active biological compounds for application in medicine, agriculture and/or industry.