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From male-killers to plant pathogens: Investigation of cross-kingdom host-symbiont interactions in the Arsenophonus clade”

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PHYTOPHONUS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PHYTOPHONUS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PHYTOPHONUS" about.

arsenophonus    belongs    chlorosis    view    contrast    techniques    opportunity    genetic    plant    lifestyles    bacterium    sufficiently    phytophonus    vector    kingdom    contrasting    disease    transmitted    vectored    influential    lacking    experimental    clade    successfully    evident    initially    strawberry    symbionts    fragariae    certain    phenotypic    symbiont    transcriptomic    versatile    functional    kingdoms    interactions    candidatus    pathogenic    repertoire    heritable    holistic    interrupt    diseases    lifestyle    losses    ultimately    marginal    plants    vectors    ecology    elucidate    cues    environments    phlomobacter    impacts    pathogen    endosymbiont    insect    bacterial    frequently    ubiquitous    causative    species    respective    arise    crop    switches    plantkiller    agent    exemplified    phytopathogen    economic    evolution    metazoan    harbouring    genomic    switch    rapid    adaptations    endosymbionts    bacteria    life    sequencing    ecological    forms    dynamics    partite    combine    cross    causing    host    devastating    hosts   

Project "PHYTOPHONUS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Via Festa Del Perdono 7
city: MILANO
postcode: 20122

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 168˙277 €
 EC max contribution 168˙277 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO IT (MILANO) coordinator 168˙277.00


 Project objective

Bacterial symbionts are ubiquitous and influential partners of all metazoan life forms. This is exemplified by the high number of insect species harbouring heritable bacterial symbionts with important impacts on host ecology and evolution. In contrast, several plant pathogenic bacteria causing devastating crop diseases and important economic losses also depend on insect vectors to be transmitted to new host plants. It is thus evident that certain bacteria have evolved adaptations to very different host environments from two kingdoms of life and are able to switch frequently between these contrasting lifestyles. However, a detailed understanding of the functional and/or phenotypic adaptations allowing their cross-kingdom host switches is often lacking. The project PHYTOPHONUS (‘plantkiller’) will investigate how an initially insect-associated bacterial endosymbiont has recently adopted a multi-host lifestyle as an insect-vectored plant pathogen. This will be achieved using the phytopathogen ‘Candidatus Phlomobacter fragariae’ as study system. This bacterium belongs to the widespread Arsenophonus clade of insect endosymbionts and is also the causative agent of Marginal Chlorosis Disease of strawberry. We will combine experimental approaches as well as state-of-the-art genomic and transcriptomic sequencing techniques to investigate (i) the potential genomic adaptations allowing this bacterium to successfully switch between insect and plant hosts, and (ii) the respective interactions of the symbiont with both hosts. The results of the project will allow us to elucidate whether the genetic repertoire within the Arsenophonus clade is sufficiently versatile to allow rapid adaptations to plant host environments should the ecological opportunity arise. In addition, we will provide a holistic view of the multi-partite interactions between the bacterial pathogen, its insect vector and host plant, which may ultimately provide cues to interrupt the disease dynamics in the field.

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The information about "PHYTOPHONUS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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