The Rhizosphere Group led by Prof Phil Poole at the Dept. of Biology, University of Oxford studies the development of plant roots and their relationships with microbes. The rhizosphere, a narrow region of soil surrounding roots is critical for plant-microbe interactions and, as a consequence, nutrient cycling, plant growth and resistance of plants to disease.
Research is in two major themes
- Nitrogen fixation by bacteria in legume root nodules – a highly-specific symbiotic interaction between bacteria and plants leading to the crucially important biological fixation of nitrogen
- Rhizosphere biology – investigating how plant roots affect microbial colonisation and the rhizosphere’s microbial community