Complex microbial communities provide benefits to host plants such as ability to grow on marginal lands, pathogen resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and increase in biomass productivity. Populus has received attention in bioenergy research as a source of cellulose-derived biofuels and as a model tree species. Populus trees are host to a diverse microbial community that resides within and on root tissues. To identify functions important for the formation of mutualistic relationships in the endosphere as opposed to rhizosphere, researchers plan to sequence the genomes of phylogenetically related isolates from both the endosphere and rhizosphere of Populus deltoides and Populus trichocarpa. It is important to describe the diversity of plant-microbe interactions in Populus to increase understanding of how the microbial community may influence its growth.
Proposer’s Name: Dale Pelletier