The Sahel region in West Africa is highly vulnerable to drought, endangering the livelihood of millions of millet subsistence farmers in the region. However, a solution has been revealed; when farmers grown millet in close proximity with native woody shrub gueira, the millet has greater biomass and yields. We predict that the millet-associated microbial community is influenced by the shrub such that the microbes are able to confer better drought resistance to their host millet in the presence of the shrub. We will characterize the metagenomes of millet to test this hypothesis.
Proposer: Richard Dick, The Ohio State University
Proposal: Exploring microbial roles in plant drought tolerance in the Sahel