Chemical Signalling in the Rhizospere

16 -19 September 2019

The Wordsworth Hotel, Grasmere

Recent developments have allowed the fluxes of chemicals from roots, bacteria and fungi that function as signal molecules to be measured. These have, in turn, revealed how the different organisms in the rhizosphere work to signal their presence and control the activities of their neighbours. Some signals are specific to particular organisms and may result in either symbioses or pathogenic activity, while others are unintentional signals with organisms ‘eavesdropping’ on the conversation.

This very successful symposium explored the roles of flavonoids in targeting rhizobia and strigolactones in targeting arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses with plants, and the emerging roles of exudates, enzymes and other chemicals in mediating root/microbial interactions. A final session discussed how such signals might be engineered to improve crop nutrition and reduce crop pests and pathogens.

Prizes were awarded to Dr Katharins Schiessl (Sainsbury Laboratory) for her talk demonstrating that lateral roots and nodules share overlapping developmental programs in Medicago truncatula, and to Mrs Hannah Hodgson (John Innes Centre) for her presentation about the characterisation of plant limonoids which have insecticidal properties.


Dr Giles Oldroyd (Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

Dr Liz Shaw (University of Reading)

Professor Peter Gregory (University of Reading, Member of the Nutrition Committee)