Dr Deborah Samac

CFANS Plant Pathology
College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbial Communities Associated With Alfalfa and Soil After Manure Applications; Alfalfa Genome Comparisons

These researchers are analyzing Illumina MySeq data from sequencing amplicons from bacterial and fungal DNA isolated from rhizosphere soil and bulk soil for several projects:

  • Soil was isolated from three Long-Term Agricultural Research sites in Minnesota with six different crop rotations. The researchers are identifying microbial communities over time with crop rotation and different fertility treatments.
  • Soil microbial communities are being compared after different manure and crop treatments. The goals are to understand the composition of a "healthy" soil community and how manure application alters communities and crop productivity in the short- and long-term. A better understanding of the rhizosphere microbial communities will lead to novel strategies to harness the power of these communities to produce healthier and more robust crops with fewer inputs.
  • The researchers are contining to investigate genes expressed in host plants infected with pathogens, and the genes expressed in pathogens during infection. This work uses cultivated wild rice, alfalfa, and Medicago truncatula as the host plants and a range of bacterial, fungal and oomycete pathogens. To facilitate this work, the genomes of several pathogens have been or plan to be sequenced and annotated. Several new RNA-seq experiments will be done to identify plant and pathogen genes that are upregulated during plant infection.
  • A reference genome sequence for alfalfa is in progress. Additionally, several additional genomes will be sequenced for genome comparisons and full-length RNAs will be sequenced to identify alternative splicing.

Project Investigators

Dr. Juan Abrahante - Llorens
Claudia Castell-Miller
Shaun Curtin
Trevor Gould
Juan Gutierrez-Gonzalez
Thomas Kono
You Lu
Dr Deborah Samac
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