Email Charity number:1139383 President: Sir Paul Nurse

Keeping time for better nitrogen fixation

Dr Emma Picot
Warwick University School of Life Sciences
Plants, like people, have a body (circadian) clock that allows them to time their processes to the natural environment. Dr Emma Picot and her team at Warwick University School of Life Science have recently discovered that if this circadian clock is dysfunctional, their ability to form relationships with rhizobia is reduced. Many commonly grown food crops have dysfunctional circadian clocks, and in the case of legumes, this may impact on their interaction with Rhizobia. This project, funded by the Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund will develop a set of tools to investigate how the rhizobia are affected by the mistiming of plant circadian rhythms. If we can better understand how the respective timings of plant and rhizobial rhythms affects the formation of the symbiotic relationship, we will be able to optimise rhizobial rhythms to match those of the crop host, in order to maximise nitrogen fixation.

Supporting carefully selected research projects in Warwickshire universities, hospitals and Wellesbourne Crop Centre