Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Nitrogen fixing endophytic bacteria enhances growth of sugarcane and asparagus

Recently published studies from this laboratory demonstrated that G. diazotrophicus has the ability to colonize sugarcane and enhance its growth by the abilities of the bacterial partner to fix atmospheric nitrogen and to synthesize the plant growth hormone indole acetic acid (IAA) (Sevilla et al. 200x; Lee et al. 200x). Current research has been aimed at finding a more experimentally tractable system that could establish a monocot plant host that could be grown from sterilized seeds rather than from tissue culture (sugarcane). Asparagus has proven to be a plant host easily grown from seed and it responds remarkably well with respect to growth enhancement after inoculation with G. diazotrophicus . Current experiments are aimed at analyzing the relative growth enhancement after inoculation with the wild type G. diazotrophicus , and mutant strains unable to either carry out nitrogen fixation or to synthesize IAA. These experiments are establishing asparagus as a model system for studies of plant host responses to the endophytic bacterium G. diazotrophicus .

For more information: Dr. Christina Kennedy, ckennedy@u.arizona.edu
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