Portrait of Sneha Gupta

Dr Sneha Gupta

Dr Sneha Gupta is a Postdoc working in close collaboration with Michelle Watt and Prof Ute Roessner. She uses the microcosms, called ‘EcoFAB’ to test the effects of plants on the N movement from soil to plant without and with inhibitors (including the commercial inhibitors NBPT and DMPP) in Australian soils.

Sneha just finished her PhD under Prof Ute Roessner working on soil salinity, an important problem that impacts agriculture globally. She believes that a sustainable approach for improving productivity is to adopt beneficial microorganisms to enhance the supply of soil nutrients to plants in stressful environments. Thus, working with a beneficial endophytic fungus- Trichoderma harzianum T-22 and a cereal crop-barley, she was able to demonstrate that T-22 enhances barley crop growth and nutrient uptake in saline conditions. The fungus symbiotically lives inside the roots and triggers beneficial biochemical and metabolic changes. This is really exciting because it means that the application of plant-microbe interactions will improve agricultural productivity.

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Banner design by Taylor & Grace for the University of Melbourne Botany Foundation 2020 Annual Report, supporting plant root research.