Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Flavonoids play multiple roles in root-rhizosphere signalling

Flavonoids play multiple roles in root-rhizosphere signalling

Date : Thursday 23rd August, 2012
Time : 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue : Conference Room, NSW DPI, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga
Presenter : Dr Ulrike Mathesius, ARC Future Fellow, Australian National University

AbstractPhotograph showing a cross section of a legume root viewed under UV excitation.

Plant roots are surrounded by a 'zoo' of soil microbes, some of which specifically communicate with the root to infect, invade and alter the root. This talk will focus mainly on the symbiosis of legume roots with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, which infect roots to form nodules. This symbiosis requires correct identification of the symbiont by the plant and vice versa, alteration of root development by the bacteria, invasion and infection of the root tissues, and feedback regulation of nodule numbers by the plant host.

Flavonoids play roles in all aspects of nodulation. We have used RNA interference to alter flavonoid synthesis in the model legume Medicago truncatula and to start to dissect roles of different flavonoid branches in nodulation and in the interaction of roots with other microbes. This talk will present evidence for the involvement of flavonoids in the development of nodules as auxin transport regulators, in the defence regulation of the root and also as possible rhizosphere signals to manipulate quorum sensing by the bacteria.

Dr Ulrike Mathesius - Professional Summary

Dr Ulrike Mathesius is an ARC Future Fellow at the ANU interested in root-rhizosphere signalling and how plant roots respond to microbial signals. She is particularly interested in how soil microbes manipulate plant architecture and development and how these signalling interactions have evolved.

Previously from Germany, Ulrike has been at the ANU since the start of her her PhD in 1996, and has held three ARC fellowships on root-microbe interactions. She also holds a teaching position at the ANU in plant science, biotechnology and plant-microbe interactions.

Contact: Professor Leslie Weston Email:

Phone: 02 6933 2429