Michael Udvardi

  • Feb 19, 2018

Date & Location: February 19, 2018, at 4p; Room 101 Biochemistry Building

Subject: Genetic and genomic dissection of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in Medicago truncatula

About the Speaker

Institution: Noble Research Institute

Seminar Summary: Symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) in legumes injects 40-60 million tons of nitrogen into agricultural systems each year in an eco-friendly manner. SNF in legumes is carried out by bacteria called rhizobia inside nodules, specialized organs that develop from root cells. Root nodule development and associated differentiation of plant and bacterial cells, which culminates in SNF, involve changes in the expression of thousands of plant and bacterial genes.

We have taken two approaches involving forward-genetics or reverse-genetics guided by transcriptomics to discover new plant genes/proteins required for nodule development and function, using the model legume Medicago truncatula. These range from transcription factors that control important processes such as bacteroid differentiation, to transporters involved in nodule energy metabolism or iron homeostasis, and genes encoding proteins of unknown function. Recently, we have tapped the natural variation in SNF effectiveness amongst over 200 diverse sequenced genotypes of M. truncatula and are using genome wide association analysis to discover genes that could be used to increase SNF in legumes. This and other work related to nitrogen efficiency in non-legumes will be presented during my talk.