The role of microorganisms in the rhizosphere priming of soil organic matter decomposition
I am interested in physiological, biochemical and evolutionary aspects of plant-microbial interactions and how these interactions mediate biogeochemical cycles. Plant-soil-microbial crosstalk is operated through complex nutrient exchanges, where plant-released exudates can be consumed by rhizosphere communities. This can mediate microbial metabolism triggering microbial response that may be involved in nutrient stabilization/destabilization in soils – rhizosphere priming. I am using genomic analysis of a rhizosphere community to define metabolic traits that outline mutualistic relationships between microorganisms and plants in soil (e.g. extracellular enzymes, nutrient transporters). I am also using exometabolomic analysis and profiling of exoenzymes activities to evaluate what microbes uptake from the plant-exuded compounds, and how they respond to the plant exudation through release of metabolites and changing exoenzymatic activities.