Below are links to my proposed experiments. Follow the links for details on the experiment, and updates on their progress.
This experiment seeks to understand the role of seedborne microbes in the transfer of microbes into the roots and hoots of the developing plants. What proportion are transferred directly from the seed? Do seed-borne endophytes help determine which soil-borne microbes end up in the plant tissues?
Our true nature seems to shine when faced with a challenge. It’s no different for our crops – we know we can rely on them if they can survive tough conditions. In this experiment, I will “challenge” maize plants and their inherited microorganisms by planting them into a field full of fungal pathogens. We will see if seed-borne microorganisms can help the plant defend against pathogen attack.