Discovering the Activity of Novel CLE Peptide Hormones that Regulate Legume Nodulation (2013–2015)
Nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria provide legume plants with nitrogen in specialised root organs called nodules. The plant controls the number of nodules it forms via a systemic regulatory process involving the roots and shoot. The aim of this project is to identify how novel, root-derived peptide hormones are transported and perceived in this regulatory process and to discover key functional components required for their activity. Findings will enhance the current nodulation model and could help underpin strategies to optimise the process in agriculture. This could considerably benefit agricultural sustainability by reducing our reliance on nitrogen fertilisers, which are expensive and often pollute.