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Cara Haney

Assistant Professor

Microbiology and Immunology

Faculty of Science

The Haney lab is interested in the genetic and metabolic factors that regulate assembly of host-associated microbial communities (“microbiomes”). The plant root (“rhizosphere”) microbiome is an ideal model for the study of host-microbiome associations: 1) plants can be grown with exposed roots, which allows for real time, non-invasive monitoring of microbial growth, 2) plants receive benefit from their microbiota including pathogen protection and increased nutrient availability, and 3) roots are naturally colonized by well-studied “model” bacteria including Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Streptomyces spp. We use genetic and molecular approaches combined with high-throughput assays and next generation sequencing to probe the interface of the rhizosphere microbiome with the model plant Arabidopsis. Current and ongoing projects include identifying plant and bacterial genes that shape the rhizosphere community and determining how microbiomes affect plant health and development.