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Understanding plant-microbe interactions in woody plants

Plants and microbes are intricately linked, with microbes serving in a variety of different roles from mutualists to parasites/pathogens. Further, these organisms can inhabit a variety of niches within associated plant hosts like roots, leaves, and stems. Understanding how these organisms interact and function is a pressing question in microbial ecology. Unraveling the many interactions between plant hosts and microbes can result in novel uses of microorganisms to aid in plant health, productivity, and altering ecosystem functions like carbon sequestration and nitrogen cycling. Using amplicon and metagenomic datasets characterizing microorganisms from two different woody plants, Populus sp. and Tsuga sp., we will explore how these different trees interact with microorganisms and what the functional consequences of these interactions are.

Dr. Meg Staton
Chloe Lash

Relevant Publications
1.Exploring variation in phyllosphere microbial communities across four hemlock species. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ecs2.2524
2. The Populus holobiont: dissecting the effect of plant niches and genotype on the microbiome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29433554