Decoding the Rhizobiota Interactome for Improved Crop Resilience

The pathology team at NIAB EMR is a part of a large collaborative effort to increase wheat resilience. The project is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and has three major research areas: “Matrix,” “Interact,” and “In Root.” NIAB EMR will focus on the “Interact” sub-project which is our short-hand for the full project title ‘Decoding the Rhizobiota Interactome for Improved Crop Resilience’.   The “INTERACT” project is led by Dr Mette Haubjerg Nicolaisen, University of Copenhagen.

Microorganisms in the root environment provide a wide range of ecosystem services to maintain a healthy environment for plant growth. The goal of Interact is to decode microbial interactions in the complex soil matrix, in relation to various external stresses and the impact of these interactions on plant performance.

NIAB EMR will use the MAGIC wheat population to determine (1) to what extent
specific (key) production of root exudates are genetically controlled, and (2) if so, to map
Quantitative Trait Loci on the fine genetic map. Bacterial colonization of wheat genotypes with contrasting root exudate profiles will be studied and analyzed for their impact on
microbial succession and influence on the microbial expression profiles in the rhizosphere.

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