IMGGI – Laboratory for molecular biology of plants

University of Belgrade

EV research

The ExplOMV project (Ideje program, FzN RS) aims to study the role of extracellular small RNAs (sRNA) from bacterial vesicles (Outer Membrane Vesicles OMV, (OMV)) in the communication of beneficial endophytic bacteria (PGPR, Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria) with plants and phytopathogens mushrooms.

The role of sRNA in communication between microorganisms and their eukaryotic hosts has been discovered recently. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are an important route of delivery of sRNA, thereby regulating gene expression in the recipient cell. Interactions of this type have been demonstrated between fungi and plants, as well as bacteria and animals, but little is known about sRNA-mediated communication between bacteria and plants or fungi.

Our research addresses fundamental questions concerning these relationships: whether and how OMVs interact with plant and phytopathogenic fungal cells, how external conditions (i.e. bacterial growth in the presence of plants or fungi) shape the content of OMV-associated sRNAs, and whether these extracellular small RNAs can affect the gene expression and physiology of recipient cells.


Dr. Dragana Nikolić