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Roots and microbes: Bringing a complex underground ecology into the lab
Date:8/1/2012

. "This huge challenge was made easier by JGI's funding the project as a discretionary 'Grand Challenge,' the National Science Foundation, who opened the doors with funding for us to do our share of the work, and by HHMI-GBMF allowing our program to expand rapidly." Now he's looking forward to using that system to begin to ask the questions about plant-microbe interactions that intrigue him most. With the powerful genetic tools now available to plant biologists, he and his colleagues, including those at JGI and Paul Schulze-Lefert's group at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, will begin to test how changes in a plant's genes affect the communities of microbes it recruits. Dangl also intends to systematically explore microbes' contributions to plant growth, isolating individual strains and introducing them to microbe-free plants one by one to test their effects. "Performing these experiments under controlled reproducible conditions is a huge operational challenge that will require ongoing collaboration with our colleagues," he says. "This is a fun, potentially high reward new research avenue that will bring the complex underground microcosm into the light."


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Contact: Jennifer Michalowski
michalow@hhmi.org
301-215-8576
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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