My lab is working on the interactions that occur between Rhizobium bacteria and legume roots during the initiation and establishment of the symbiosis that results in nitrogen-fixing root nodules on plants.
Our work focuses on different aspects of the interaction including:
Attachment and growth of Rhizobium on legume root hairs, and population-density-dependent (quorum-sensing) regulation of bacterial gene expression, particularly in relation to the symbiosis (Rhizosphere molecular microbiology)
The legume genes and signals (such as calcium) involved in the nodulation signalling pathway activated by rhizobially-made Nodulation (Nod) factors (Legume nodulation genes, Nod-factor signalling and calcium).
We have close interactions with others (Giles Oldroyd, Philip Poole, Trevor Wang and Noel Ellis) working on Rhizobium / legumes at the John Innes Centre and with other microbiologists working on the Norwich Research Park (see Micron).