Joint Genome Institute researchers identify genes to help boost biomass yield

October 5, 2017 |

In California, working with the plant growth-promoting bacterium Pseudomonas simiae, researchers have identified 115 genes that negatively affect its ability to colonize a plant root system when mutated.

A plant’s health and development is influenced by the complex community of microbes that surround it. By identifying the bacterial genes that can alter how well microbes can colonize a plant, researchers can develop targeted approaches to improve plant health and growth for a number of applications, including increased biomass yield for biofuel production.

A plant’s health and development is influenced by microbes residing within the plant (endophytes), in the soil, and in the narrow region where the plant roots interact with the soil (rhizosphere). To better understand how microbes colonize the root environment, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and their collaborators at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of North Carolina, applied a genome-wide transposon mutagenesis approach on the model plant growth-promoting bacterium Pseudomonas simiae using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a host to generate a genome-wide map of bacterial genes that affect the efficacy of microbial colonization.

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Category: Research

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