Life On A Root
Thomas C McLean & Sam Prudence, University of East Anglia
The image shows the roots of a young wheat plant (Triticum aestivum) grown in sand and colonised by the bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor. These bacteria are found associated with the roots of important crop plants and produce a variety of antimicrobial compounds which protect the plants from bacterial, fungal and nematode infections. Research at the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with partners on the Norwich Research Park, is looking to see if any of these antibiotic-producing bacteria could be used to replace chemical pesticides and fungicides on commercial farms.