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INSTAAR seminar: Plant-microbe interactions as a driver of ecosystem dynamics

Monday, April 23, 2018, 12:15PM - 1:15PM


Joey Knelman



SEEC room S228 (Sievers Conference Room)

4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder

Given that highly diverse microbial communities mediate important ecosystem functions, there remains a need to better understand the factors that underlie the structure and activity of microbial communities across space and time. While longstanding research surrounding ecological succession has resulted in a body of knowledge regarding plant community assembly, far more limited work has sought to understand factors that control bacterial communities in ecosystem development. I will focus this talk on my research that seeks to holistically understand ecosystem succession by connecting both plants and microbes.  Our research in Colorado montane forest and alpine meadow ecosystems evaluates the influence of plants on bacterial communities and begins to reveal different contexts in which plants may or may not control microbial community structure and function.  Further, I will touch on experiments that suggest such plant-microbe interactions are also central to interspecific plant interactions in succession. Finally, I will present recent work in developing a laboratory-based bioassay system that allows reproducible testing of plant-microbe interactions with the use of model plants and a synthetic microbial community.  This approach allows a high resolution, experimental view of root microbiome assembly.

Coffee hour

Coffee and cookies will be available at 11:45 outside S228.


Free and open to the public.