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Christopher Hale

About me

My name is Chris Hale and I began working on my PhD at the University of Warwick in September 2013. I hold a first class honours degree in Biology from the University of Portsmouth, where my interest in microbiology was born!

During the summer of 2012 I travelled to Seville, Spain under the Erasmus scheme in order to work on a fascinating Paramecium tetraurelia project under the supervision or Dr Eduardo Villalobo-Polo.

After completing my degree I moved to Warwick and now I investigate how plants and microbes access the variety of Phosphorus substrates in the rhizosphere under the supervision of Dr. Gary Bending.

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About my research

The role of plants and rhizosphere microorganisms in the mobilisation of organophosphate

Phosphorus (P) is an element that is vital for sustaining life. It is required by all living organisms, and is used in large number of biological structures and processes, such as DNA and the phospholipid membrane.

Plants uptake P from the soil via the roots, however they can only uptake P in its inorganic orthophosphate form (Pi). In many soil types P is the growth-limiting nutrient, and as such it is important to increase our understanding of how plants can access the P in soil.

There is a mix of organic P containing substrates (Po) present in the soil and this project will aim to understand how plants and rhizosphere organisms contribute to the mobilisation of organophosphate into the inorganic phosphate that plants require.

The plant of interest is the important crop Oilseed Rape (OSR), which is fully sequenced and a large germplasm is available at the University of Warwick.

A range of OSR genotypes will be studied both in soil and under aseptic, hydroponic systems in order to identify any genotypic variation for plant P mobilising enzymes and study the rhizosphere microbial community in order to understand how microbes affect plant access to Po.


Christopher Hale

Christopher dot Hale at warwick dot ac dot uk