04/2021: Plant Roots (A Galloway)

Time: Thursday 15 April 2021 at 19:30

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be delivered online. More details can be found here.

Title: Plant Roots: A Ground-Breaking Perspective

Plants are incredible. They use a greenhouse gas to constructure their parts, are the basis of most food and medicine on Earth, and release a proportion of the oxygen that we depend on. In this talk I will focus on roots, which are a crucial organ that extract resources needed for growth and to anchor plants to soil. As well as extracting resources, they secrete molecules that can attract fungal partners to boost their growth. This fungal relationship has been shown to connect whole ecosystems such as forests. This network forms a protective buffer against hardship. The key molecules within this secretion are carbohydrates, and of particular interest polysaccharides (complex long-chain sugars) that can glue surrounding soil to the root surface. By maintaining this interface plants can secure resource uptake during drought. Some plants can even regulate this interface by tightening and loosening their grip on soil through polysaccharides

Speaker: Andrew Galloway

Andrew is a plant scientist, botanist and horticulturist. Andrew studied his undergraduate degree in horticulture at a Harper Adam University. During his time at university, he managed to get sponsored by a commercial grower to conduct research on growing tomatoes under polytunnel films that could enhance yield. Andrew also received his masters degree and decorate, as well as completing his first postdoc at the University of Leeds. His research specialised in plant-soil interaction. Andrew also completed a postdoc at the University of Tromsø, Norway studying plant-plant parasitism. At present Andrew works as the Research Coordinator for the Neuroimaging Centre at the University of Oxford.

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