(Co)investigator from the Department: 
Duration: 
2011 to 2014
Project description: 

Rootless Utricularia is the largest carnivorous plant genus, with some of the smallest angiosperm genomes found. We argue that the mutualistic plant-microbe interaction in the bladder traps of aquatic Utricularia has a profound effect on plant ecophysiology, mainly nutrient (N, P) acquisition, and leads to changing plant growth and gene expression patterns. We will test this by identifying key metabolic, microbe-dependent pathways allowing us to conclude the role of microbes in nutrient gain of Utricularia. We plan to use recent high-throughput sequencing advances, which now allow us to compare entire transcriptomes from both axenically growing U. vulgaris and plants in various stages of microbial colonization. The analysis of genome-wide differential RNA expression will provide us with greater insights into biological pathways and molecular mechanisms that underlie the plant-microbe association. Sequence data will be supported by the data from growth experiments, stable isotope and nutrient analyses, and studies on microbial community development and its physiological status.