Title: "Underground connections: Host-microbiome interactions in rice roots"
Host: Julia Bailey-Serres
Abstract: Plants interact with root-associated microbes for nutrient availability, disease suppression, and growth promotion. Our lab has characterized these interactions through large scale studies of root-associated microbiomes of cultivated rice under different conditions and growth stages. The studies reveal details of microbiome assembly, as well as predictable shifts in composition, controlled by factors such as the age of the plant, intensity of cultivation, and water availability. Changes to the microbiome due to external factors can affect agronomically important traits such as plant growth and fitness and survival under intermittent drought. Deeper understanding of the interactions of root microbiota with plant phenotype and genotype can therefore lead to future utilization of microbiomes for sustainable agriculture.