Watt Group

Feeding the growing world population in a dynamically changing environment is one of the great challenges of the future!

From studying roots to their growing environments, we try to discover how root-microorganism dynamics can be optimized with genetics or management to save water, land and fertilizer in agricultural and natural systems.

Plant root architecture
Plant root architecture: images show the root systems of wheat plants growing in dark soil. 

Plants obtain water and mineral nutrients through their roots, and thus roots sustain global biomass productivity. However, studying roots comes with challenges from their complex physiology and their soil and whole-plant environments.

This is further complicated due to the presence of myriad of microbial species where roots survive in the hidden zone of soil. Research in the Watt Group focuses on discovering how root-microbe interactions can be improved for increased biomass.

Professor Michelle Watt

Adrienne Clarke Professorial Chair of Botany

University of Melbourne, Australia


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