Identification and Characterization of Beneficial Plant Root-Associated Microbes

Identification and Characterization of Beneficial Plant Root-Associated Microbes

Project Lead

Cara Haney, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Michael Smith Laboratories (PI)



Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


About the Project

The Haney Lab studies how beneficial bacteria can improve crop yields, disease resistance, and help crops adapt to climate change. Just like the microbes in our gut that help us digest our food, plants use microbes to get the most from the soil they grow in. Their plot at the UBC Farm looks at a model mustard plant, Arabidopsis (a small weedy plant with tiny white flowers), that grows well in disturbed soils.

The goal of this work is to understand the genetic basis of plant-microbiome interactions. At this stage, the work is basic research working primarily with a wild plant (Arabidopsis). However, the lab also tests all of their findings on crops. The long-term goal is to apply these findings to develop better biopesticides and biofertilizers.


External Links and Publications

More information on the Haney Lab.

Haney, C.H., Samuel, B.S., Bush, J. and Ausubel, F. M. (2015). Associations with rhizosphere bacteria can confer an adaptive advantage to plants. Nature Plants. 1(6):1-9

Haney, C.H., Urbach, J. and Ausubel, F.M. (2014). Innate Immunity in Plants and Animals. The Biochemist. 36(5):1-5.

Riely, B.K., Larrainzar, E., Haney, C.H., J.H., Gil-Quintana, E., González, E.M., Yu, H.J., David Tricoli, D., Ehrhardt, D.W., Long, S.R., and Cook, D.R. (2013). Development of tools for the biochemical characterization of the symbiotic receptor-like kinase DMI2. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 26(2):216-26.

Haney, C.H., Riely, B.K., Tricoli, D., Cook, D. R., Ehrhardt, D.W., and Long, S.R. (2011). Symbiotic rhizobia bacteria trigger a change in localization and dynamics of the Medicago truncatula receptor kinase LYK3. Plant Cell. 23(7):2774-87

Haney, C.H., and Long, S.R. (2010). Plant flotillins are required for infection by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. PNAS. 107(1):478-83.


Banner Photo credit: Haney Lab