Scientists from the University of Dundee and the University of York hope to improve the long term sustainability of certain ecosystems after being awarded a £359,422 grant from the Natural Environment Research Council to investigate unusual bacteria that live in the roots of trees and shrubs in the fragile and threatened savannah ecosystem of Central Brazil known as the “Cerrado”.
Dr Euan James, Dr Alan Prescott and Dr Sam Swift in the School of Life Sciences and Emeritus Professor of the University of Dundee, Janet Sprent, will be working with Professor Peter Young of the University of York and scientists in Brazil, to determine to what extent newly-discovered symbiotic bacteria, known as Beta-rhizobia, contribute to the nutrition of the tropical legume ‘Mimosa’.
Mimosa, better known as the ‘sensitive plant’ because it closes its leaves when touched or caught in the wind is a large group of woody plants that originated in South America and is native to the Brazilian Cerrado. There are many unique and rare species of Mimosa that are currently under threat from large scale burning of the native vegetation to make way for crops and pastures.
Angela Durcan | alfa
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