Louis joined the Peay lab in 2021 after completing his Ph.D. at The University of South Carolina with Dr. Bert Ely. His research primarily focuses on the factors that govern the spatial distributions of bacteria and fungi as a function of microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions. From genomes to phenomes, Louis fuses both top-down and bottom-up experimental approaches to determine the genetic architecture that undergirds plant microbiome assemblages across landscapes.

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Genes related to redox and cell curvature facilitate interactions between Caulobacter strains and Arabidopsis PLOS ONE Berrios, L., Ely, B. 2021; 16 (4): e0249227


    Bacteria play an integral role in shaping plant growth and development. However, the genetic factors that facilitate plant-bacteria interactions remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrated the importance of two bacterial genetic factors that facilitate the interactions between plant-growth-promoting (PGP) bacteria in the genus Caulobacter and the host plant Arabidopsis. Using homologous recombination, we disrupted the cytochrome ubiquinol oxidase (cyo) operon in both C. vibrioides CB13 and C. segnis TK0059 by knocking out the expression of cyoB (critical subunit of the cyo operon) and showed that the mutant strains were unable to enhance the growth of Arabidopsis. In addition, disruption of the cyo operon, metabolomic reconstructions, and pH measurements suggested that both elevated cyoB expression and acid production by strain CB13 contribute to the previously observed inhibition of Arabidopsis seed germination. We also showed that the crescent shape of the PGP bacterial strain C. crescentus CB15 contributes to its ability to enhance plant growth. Thus, we have identified specific genetic factors that explain how select Caulobacter strains interact with Arabidopsis plants.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0249227

    View details for Web of Science ID 000636467000036

    View details for PubMedID 33793620

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8016251