The Rhizosphere Group led by Prof Phil Poole at the Dept. of Plant Sciences, 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

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