Investigation of the microbiome associated with the Brassica napus rhizosphere and its application in synthetic microbial communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences

Abstract

Plant roots live in close association with diverse communities of microbes, including prokaryotes such as bacteria, and eukaryotes such as fungi, which together constitute the root 'micro-biome'. These microbes are selectively recruited from the diverse communities which inhabit soil as a result of their growth on carbon exuded from roots. Root associated microbes interact with the plant in a myriad of ways; some act as symbionts which promote plant growth, while others are parasites which can have deleterious impacts on growth and development. As a result, understanding and harnessing interactions in the root zone (termed the 'rhizosphere') has enormous importance for ensuring food and energy security. Previous studies have noted that engineering of plant associated microbial communities and creation of synthetic communities can be used to promote plant health and fitness. Other studies have been able to create synthetic communities of plant associated bacteria which are ecologically and functionally relevant. In this project we aim to identify the core rhizosphere micro-biome of the economically important crop Oilseed rape in order to construct synthetic microbial communities which are representative of the rhizosphere core micro-biome. Such communities can then be utilised in a variety of plant-microbe interaction studies with an aim to help improve crop fitness and health.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1786893 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 03/10/2016 31/03/2021 Ellis Beltrami Monaghan
 
Description British Science Festival, OutThinkers panel session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact During this session I was able to discuss my experiences as a queer person in STEM and discuss my research, with particular focus on the roles of rhizosphere and soil microorganisms in biogeochemical cycling, agriculture, medicine and ecology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Soil science engagement stand at Warwick University British Science Festival Family Science Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The stand included a number of activities for adults and children to learn about soil science. These activities included; a searching game to collect and identify soil and rhizosphere microorganisms, activity sheets, soil feeling, insects displays, plant displays, microscopes for observing soil and rhizosphere microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and nematodes and discussion with stand volunteers about their own research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019