- Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, University of North Carolina, John N. Couch Professor of Biology
- Collaborated with JGI since 2008
My lab has been engaged with JGI on a long-range project looking at the complex network of life of the microbiome that inhabits the rhizosphere and endosphere —the niches immediately surrounding and inside a plant’s root.
Science has long been fascinated with the spectrum of relationships between plant and microbe that span from pathogenic to mutually beneficial. With our results we are adding new details to this complex landscape. Understanding the rules that guide formation of the root microbiome are likely to contribute significantly to the success of agriculture and our understanding of the carbon cycle. Most notably, this work has thus far resulted in a publication in 2012 in the journal Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7409/full/nature11237.html
Collaborating with JGI gives us both incredible technical leverage, and also huge intellectual insights. What one gets as a JGI collaborator is access to the whole suite of technology and analysis teams that are assembled there. Our project can have much more ambitious goals because of JGI’s interest and active collaboration. Even more exciting is that JGI has expanded dramatically their interest in plant-microbe interactions such that they are now the world’s nexus for studying plants in association with microbial communities. This takes JGI’s core and historical strengths in plant and microbial genomics and merges it into a new framework that will help to define and drive forward the new field of “ecogenomics.”
Check out this presentation from Sarah Lebeis of the Dangl Lab on “Modulation of root microbiome community assembly by the plant immune response,” from the 8th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 28, 2013. http://www.scivee.tv/node/58353