Rhizosphere Group

The region of the soil surrounding plant roots is the site of active root secretion and microbial activity involved in the cycling of nutrients. In the Rhizosphere Group, we aim to understand the physiology of traits which affect resource capture within the rhizosphere and their genetic control.

There are opportunities to join this research group as a PhD, MSc/MRes or BSc (Hons) student, currently we are offering projects entitled:

Plant–Soil Interactions

Soil is a vital resource to humanity and is fundamental to most of the world’s food production. Scotland is blessed with some of the most productive soils on earth, so as climate changes and water is depleted in more susceptible countries, food demand from our limited land area will increase considerably. The economic benefits could be enormous, but this will be against several threats. More marginal land with poorer soils will be brought into production. Energy prices will drive lower inputs. Unsustainable farming practices of the past will need to be reversed. Climate change will increase the frequency of extreme weather events.

These challenges form the basis of our scientific research in the Plant-Soil Interactions Programme. A cross-disciplinary team of root biologists, ecologists, molecular biologists, physicists and soil management experts work across SCRI with an aim to maximise the positive interactions between plants and their soil environment. Our major research areas, UK and global research partners, and outreach activities are summarised below.

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