Microorganisms of agronomical and environmental interest


In our laboratory we study the interaction between plants and microorganisms in order to understand the molecular mechanisms that determine the interaction between them. Our main study model is the disease called citrus canker caused by bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas.

Research Lines

Molecular characterization of the phytopathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri, responsible for citrus canker.

We investigate plant-pathogen interaction and in particular the interaction between the phytopathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and citrus plants. Our efforts are aimed to the understanding the pathogenicity factors of this bacteria such as proteins involved in adhesion, molecules responsible for biofilm formation and effector proteins involved in virulence. We also study an eukaryotic protein acquired by the bacteria that is able to mimic plant natriuretic peptides and doing so, regulate the plant cell homeostasis to its own benefit.

Environmental biotechnology

Principal Investigator: Natalia Gottig.   gottig@ibr-conicet.gov.ar

Our research group performs the isolation and characterization of environmental microorganisms in order to use them or even the enzymesderived from them in bioremediation processes. Particularly, a problem widely distributed in Argentina, is the presence of iron (Fe) andmanganese (Mn) in groundwater. These metals affect the quality of waterfor human consumption from the point of view of acceptability, operationaland health. In recent years methods of biological removal of metals fromthese waters were developed, which offer a low-cost and high efficiency,without presenting negative environmental impact. This process is done by installing water treatment plants which consist of a double filtrationsystem where metals are oxidized by naturally occurring bacteria.Bacterial biofilms that form on these sand filters, act as chemicalbuffers immobilizing metals and biological oxidation products thereof.With this methodology, Fe oxides obtained are retained and are filteredand removed from the water quickly. However, Mn removal times are veryslow and not suited to the water requirements of the population.Therefore, one objective of our group is isolate and select bacteria thatcan perform a high efficient Mn oxidation and with a great capacity ofbiofilm formation. These bacteria may allow the development of mixedbacterial inoculants suitable for bioremediation processes of Mn. Anotherkey objective is to study the molecular mechanisms involved in Mnoxidation process, its physiological role and if this process providessome adaptive advantage to bacteria. All results obtained from theseanalyses will extend the basic knowledge of the Mn biogeochemistry, themolecular mechanisms used by bacteria to oxidize metals and adapt to theirpresence and will improve several bioremediation processes.

Improvement of  bacterial inoculants used in crops of agronomic interest.

Principal Investigator: Jorgelina Ottado: ottado@ibr-conicet.gov.ar

Our group is also interested in improving bacterial strains used as inoculants for agronomic crops. These bacteria naturally present in sol are able to interact with plants roots promotingplant growth and development, without drawing up excessive use of fertilizers, that long-term damage the soil and pollute the environment. The improvement is based on the introduction of new genes that provide overcoming characteristics regarding bacterial resistance to environmental stresses. These advantages result in increased production and the ability to cover a larger cultivation area using less favorable soils.

Selected Publications

  • Masotti F, Garavaglia BS, Piazza A, Burdisso P, Altabe S, Gottig N, Ottado J. (2021) Bacterial isolates from Argentine Pampas and their ability to degrade glyphosate. Sci Total Environ. 774:145761.
  • Barcarolo MV, Gottig N, Ottado J, Garavaglia BS (2020) Participation of two general stress response proteins from Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri in environmental stress adaptation and virulence. FEMS Microbiol Ecol, 96, fiaa138.
  • Ciancio Casalini L, Piazza A, Masotti F, Pacini VA, Sanguinetti G, Ottado J, Gottig N. (2020) Manganese removal efficiencies and bacterial community profiles in nonbioaugmented and in bioaugmented sand filters exposed to different temperatures. J Water Process Eng 36, 101261.
  • Ciancio Casalini L, Vidoz M, Piazza A, Labanca C, Pacini VA, Ottado J, Gottig N. (2020) Optimization of bacterial bioaugmentation for groundwater Mn removal using a waste based culture medium and lyophilization. Environ Sci Water Res Technol, en prensa, DOI: 10.1039/D0EW00777C.
  • Barcarolo MV, Garavaglia BS, Gottig N, Ceccarelli EA, Catalano-Dupuy DL, Ottado J (2020) A novel Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri NADPH quinone reductase involved in salt stress response and virulence. BBA - General Subjects 1864, 129514.
  • Piazza A, Ciancio Casalini L, Pacini VA, Sanguinetti G, Ottado J, Gottig N. (2019)  Environmental Bacteria Involved in Manganese(II) Oxidation and Removal From Groundwater. Front Microbiol 10,119.
  • Gottig N, Vranych CV, Sgro GG, Piazza A, Ottado J. (2018) HrpE, the major component of the Xanthomonas type three protein secretion pilus, elicits plant immunity responses. Sci Rep. 8:9842.
  • Ficarra FA, Grandellis C, Galván EM, Ielpi L, Feil R, Lunn JE, Gottig N, Ottado J. (2017) Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri requires the outer membrane porin OprB for maximal virulence and biofilm formation. Mol Plant Pathol. 18, 720–733.

Todas las publicaciones:

Dra. Jorgelina Ottado: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Ottado+J

Dra. Betiana Garavaglia: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Betiana+S+Garavaglia

Dra. Natalia Gottig: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Gottig+N


-Proyecto Ciencia y Tecnología contra el Hambre. Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Mincyt). 2021.

-PICT2019-01081. Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT).

-IO-2018-00074. Agencia Santafesina de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (ASaCTeI).

-PICT2017-0778. Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT).

- PICT 2016-0841. Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT).

Director de Grupo

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Ottado, Jorgelina
Core CCT
Email: ottado@ibr-conicet.gov.ar
Phone: +54 341 4237070
Office Extension: 633
Laboratory Extension: 625

Ciclo de la cancrosis de los cítricos. La bacteria ingresa por estomas y heridas, coloniza el apoplasto y a continuación se presentan las lesiones características. Luego, la epidermis de la hoja se rompe y las bacterias son liberadas para reiniciar un nuevo ciclo sobre la superficie vegetal.

Optimización de la remoción de metales en aguas de consumo. Inoculación de sistemas de filtrado de aguas con bacterias oxidantes de Mn y formadoras de biofilm.

Aislamiento e identificacion de bacterias en suelos agrícolas con repetidas aplicaciones de herbicidas basados en glifosato (GBH). Determinacion de la capacidad de degradacion de GBH de las bacterias mas eficientes.