Biosciences Monthly Seminar Series - Burkholderia bacteria are well known human opportunistic pathogens, but can we now exploit their beneficial properties as biopesticides and plant-growth promoting bacteria?

Part of the Biosciences Monthly Seminar Series.

A Biosciences seminar
Speaker(s)Eshwar Mahenthiralingam (Esh) is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Cardiff University where he is also the Director of Research for the School of Biosciences.
Date17 May 2023

Speaker: Professor Eshwar Mahenthiralingam


The presentation will outline the problematic nature of Burkholderia bacteria as cystic fibrosis lung infection pathogens, plant disease causing agents, and industrial contaminants of pharmaceuticals and home/personal care products. This will be contrasted with the beneficial properties of Burkholderia bacteria as antibiotic producers, biopesticides and plant-beneficial bacteria. Using genetics and genomics to untangle the negatives versus the positives of their biology will be highlighted, and ultimately lead to a discussion on whether genetic modification can be used to create safe Burkholderia biopesticides in future.

Useful references:

  1. Mahenthiralingam, E., Urban, T.A., and Goldberg, J.B. (2005) The multifarious, multireplicon Burkholderia cepacia complex, Nature Reviews Microbiology 3: 144-156;
  2. Mullins, A.J., Murray, J.A.H., Bull, M.J., Jenner, M., Jones, C., Webster, G., et al. (2019) Genome mining identifies cepacin as a plant-protective metabolite of the biopesticidal bacterium Burkholderia ambifaria, Nature Microbiology 4: 996-1005;
  3. Petrova, Y.D., Zhao, J., Webster, G., Mullins, A.J., Williams, K., Alswat, A.S., et al. (2022) Cloning and expression of Burkholderia polyyne biosynthetic gene clusters in Paraburkholderia hosts provides a strategy for biopesticide development, Microbial Biotechnology;
OrganizerDr Ben Temperton

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