My research focuses on the mobilisation of phosphorus in the rhizosphere of the crop, Oil Seed Rape (Brassica napus). A significant challenge facing agriculture over the next few decades is the need to increase the crop productivity of cultivated land to sustain food rations for an increasing global population whilst reducing the environmentally harmful consequences of mineral fertilization. Specifically, phosphorus is essential to all cells and often becomes growth limiting in soil and is therefore often applied in fertilizers with deleterious environment effects. The aim is to identify key bacterial genes and enzymes in the soil that are involved in recycling complex forms of phosphorus with the premise that these enzymes help to increase the amount of 'available' phosphorus required for plant growth. In order to achieve this, we will be constructing metagenomic libraries as a reference to determine the metaproteome and metaexoproteome of the rhizosphere in response to Pi stress. We have used individual bacterial strains to generate reference proteomic data and utilised classical bacterial genetics to confirm the function of highly secreted proteins with respect to phosphorus depletion.
Degree: Biological Sciences (with honours) 1st Class honours. University of Plymouth
Master of Research degree: Marine Biology. University of Plymouth in association with the Marine biological association
PhD: University of Warwick