University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Engineering the Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa (ENSA): Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis and its Nutrient Regulation in Barley

Engineering the Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa (ENSA): Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis and its Nutrient Regulation in Barley

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The goal of the ENSA team is to engineer maize to engage in nitrogen-fixing symbiosis to become largely independent of nitrogen fertilisers. The root nodule symbiosis (RNS) for nitrogen fixation evolved from the ancient arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) with the common symbiosis signaling pathway (CSSP) present as a core in both symbioses. Whereas the RNS is restricted to almost only leguminous plants, the AMS is found widely in the plant kingdom, including the cereals. We therefore want to introduce the missing requirements for nitrogen fixation into the AM- competent maize. As a first step we investigated the functional conservation of the genetic components of the CSSP between legumes and the cereals maize and barley, and the data will be presented. We also reveal data shedding light on processes linking the availability of the nutrients phosphorous and nitrogen with AMS . Our findings are of great importance for a sustainable agriculture aiming at diminishing fertilizer use not only in African regions.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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