The Wisconsin Plant Symbionts Group is an interdisciplinary research team of five faculty and their laboratories that apply state-of-the-art genomic technologies to profile early molecular events involved in the recognition of symbiotic microbes with crop plants. In this Tech Track project, we will focus on the development and application of innovative new enabling mass spectrometric and chemical genomic technologies to assist the general plant community with analyses of metabolomes and proteomes involved in the plant’s ability to recognize and respond to microbes present in the rhizosphere. Finally, via the continuation of the annual summer Mass Spectrometry Workshop previously established with PGRP NSF funding at UW-Madison, we will be able to ensure that the mass spectrometric based technologies we are developing will be made available and placed in the hands of the research community’s biologists in plant and microbial laboratories throughout the USA. In the long term, knowledge from this unique interdisciplinary project will help the research community engineer new associations between model crop plants such as the legumes (e.g., alfalfa) and grains (e.g., rice) and symbionts such as nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and phosphate capturing mycorrhizal fungi, to reduce the negative environmental and financial impacts of fertilizer applications.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Awards NSF-IOS#0701846, #1546742, and #2010789