The soil surrounding terrestrial plant roots (rhizosphere) is often described as a ‘hot spot' for microbial activity being nutrient rich when compared to non-mycorrhizal soil. Microorganisms including bacteria and fungi form both beneficial and detrimental associations with plants. Our main research interest looks at bacteria involvement on enhancing mycorrhizal (fungi-plant) associations.

Selected publications:

  • Aspray, T.J., Jones, E.E., Davies, M.W., Shipman, M., Whipps, J.M. & Bending, G.D. (2013) Hyphal branching and pre-symbiotic growth of Lactarius rufus EO3 in the presence of mycorrhiza helper bacterium Paenibacillus sp. EJP73 metabolites. Mycorrhiza 23, 403-410.
  • Aspray, T.J., Frey-Klett, P., Jones, J.E., Whipps, J.M., Garbaye, J. & Bending, G.D. (2006) Mycorrhiza helper bacteria: a case of specificity for altering ectomycorrhiza architecture but not ectomycorrhiza formation. Mycorrhiza 16, 533-541.
  • Aspray, T.J., Jones, E.E., Whipps, J.M. & Bending, G.D. (2006) Importance of cell density and contact in producing the helper effect by bacteria from the mycorrhizosphere. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 56(1), 25-33.