Marcela Mendoza-Suárez





I am a DPhil student at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. I did my undergraduate and masters studies in Environmental Biotechnology in Mexico, where I am originally from.


My project’s aim is to design a technique to assess the competitiveness and effectiveness of a wide range of rhizobial strains in different legumes. To enable the rapid identification of successful strains I use reporter genes such as:

• sfGFP
• mCherry

Below are some examples of the interaction between rhizobia and pea plants using marker gene systems with single infection.


Figure 1. -Strain Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 expressing the gusA marker gene in a pea plant.


Figure 2. Strain Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 expressing the celB marker gene in a pea plant.

The photo below is an example of luminescence visualized using a NightOWL LB 983 in vivo Imaging System.


Figure 3. Rhizobium tropici CIAT 899 expressing the luxCDABE reporter plasmid in a common bean plant.

The use of marker genes help to evaluate competitiveness by a double infection in the same plant.

This photo shows double-stained pea roots inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae UPM791:gusA and Rlv3841:celB strains.


Figure 4. Nodules expressing gusA are pink/magenta and nodules expressing celB are blue.

The establishment of a rhizobial population inside a nodule usually results from a clonal infection but sometimes it is possible to find two being very friendly and sharing the same nodule.


Figure 5. Microscopic view of a pea root nodule showing a mixed infection.

In Oct 2017: DPhil Student, Year 4 of 4 years

Marcela’s DPhil project is supported by grants from CONACYT and Balliol College, Oxford




2 Responses to Marcela Mendoza-Suárez

  1. Misael Zuñiga Gallegos says:

    I need to know if you are form Chihuahua? Casi no hablo ingles, pero me gustaria , I like talk with you

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