DBI News: Plant microbe interactions and nutrient use to be explored Nov. 16 at UD

NEWARK, DE--Understanding how plants interact with microbes to facilitate the uptake of nutrients, such as nitrogen, will be the focus of a Nov. 16 presentation by Janine Sherrier, a plant molecular biologist at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and assistant professor in the University of Delaware's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Because nitrogen is a limited nutrient in soil, many crops and plants are supplemented with nitrogen-rich fertilizers for optimal growth, Sherrier notes.

"Consequently, this research could potentially reduce the amount of fertilizer that is necessary for use on soil, which would be very beneficial for the environment," she explains. "It may also lead to improvement of more commercially important plants, such as soybeans or peanuts that naturally form nitrogen-fixing root nodules."

The symbiotic relationship between plant roots and soil bacteria is key to Sherrier's research. Her upcoming presentation, "Proteomic Analysis of Plant Membrane Proteins," will take place from 12:30 -1:30 p.m. in Room 214, Brown Laboratory, on UD's Newark campus.

Sherrier has an extensive background in proteomics, the study of protein function, and plant molecular biology. Her lecture will focus on the interaction between legumes, such as soybeans and the alfalfa relative Medicago truncatula, and the bacterium Rhizobium, the basis for her current research program at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. This unique cell-to-cell interaction results in nodule formation on the plant root, which allows the plant to take in nitrogen from the air and use it in the same manner that nitrogen from the soil is used.

Sherrier received her Ph.D. in biology at the University of Texas A&M University and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Baylor University. She completed three years of postdoctoral work in the proteomics laboratory at the University of Cambridge, and two years of postdoctoral work in cell biology and g

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
University of Delaware

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