Volatiles Produced by Serratia marcescens and Their Inhibitory Effects on Rhizopus stolonifer
Bacteria and fungi have shared similar niches for millions and possibly billions of
years. Researchers often study the antagonism between microbes to produce novel, effective antimicrobials, but stop short of the large compounds secreted into the nearby environment. Here I show that bacteria produce antifungals that can volatilize and inhibit fungal growth from a distance. These are even produced at high enough levels to inhibit some of the fastest growing fungi like Neurospora and Rhizopus. Further, I explore how the fungi sense, react, and protect themselves from bacteria in their vicinity through their transcriptional response to pure volatiles. This contribution to the growing field of bacterial-fungal interactions highlights the importance of volatiles for long distance interactions between microbes.