Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel Research to Root Out How Microbes Affect Rice Plants

10.09.2009
Plants that live in the soil don't live alone -- a mere teaspoon of soil teems with an estimated billion microscopic organisms.

Yet comparatively little is known about which of these tiny organisms interact with plants or how they may affect plant performance and crop yields, according to Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware.

With a three-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Bais is teaming up with researchers from the University of California Davis and Delaware State University to uncover the diversity and potential impacts of microbes that literally lie at the roots of rice, one of the world's most important food crops.

More than half the world's population -- over 3 billion people -- depend on rice for survival, according to the International Rice Commission.

“What is the importance of the involvement of microbes in plants? It hasn't really been examined,” Bais notes. “We think that plants are doing everything on their own, but there is a whole world of microbes underground, associated with the roots of plants, that has yet to be analyzed.”

Scientists have long known the symbiotic relationship between legume plants such as beans and the bacteria known as rhizobia that colonize the plants' roots and enable the plants to convert nitrogen from the air into fertilizer.

More recently, in research reported last fall (http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2009/oct/bais101708.html), Bais and his colleagues showed that when the leaves of the small flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana were infected by a pathogen, the plant secreted an acid to recruit beneficial bacteria in the soil (Bacillus subtilis) to come to its defense.

The study caught the attention of plant biologist Venkatesan Sundaresan and evolutionary biologist Jonathan Eisen at the University of California Davis, who are Bais's co-investigators on the rice grant.

Venugopal Kalavacharla, assistant professor of agriculture and natural resources at Delaware State University, and Gurdev Khush, an agronomist and geneticist at the University of California Davis, also are collaborators.

During the coming months, Bais will be working to set up a hydroponic method for growing rice in laboratories at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. His colleagues in California will be growing rice in the field and supplying plant and soil samples to Bais's lab for microbial and genetic analysis.

A controlled experimental system will be established to dissect the impact of microbial associations on rice. Transcriptomic and metabolic profiling will reveal the genes actively being expressed by the plants in response to a variety of conditions.

The profiles will be analyzed for global changes in gene expression, as well as specific functional classes of genes that would reflect changes in nutrient availability, or establishment of plant immunity, for example, which can be confirmed by metabolic analysis and susceptibility to pathogens.

“A comprehensive understanding of the effects of root-associated microbes -- what we refer to as the microbiome -- on crop plants will enable the development of agricultural technologies that exploit the natural alliances among microbes and plants and may provide new avenues to increase yields beyond conventional plant genetics and breeding,” Bais says. “We are very excited to get started on this research.”

As part of the project, an undergraduate internship program in cutting-edge plant science will be developed for outstanding students from Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College. An innovative “Field To Lab” program spanning agricultural sampling to bioinformatics will provide students with the opportunity to participate in field and laboratory studies of rice biology at both UD and the University of California Davis. The internship program is slated to begin next summer.

Tracey Bryant | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>