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Sara Moeskjær: Identifying the most important players in the nitrogen chain through bacteria and clover genetics

PhD defence, Thursday 15 August 2019, Sara Moeskjær

2019.08.15 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Sara Moeskjær

In all ecosystems, nitrogen plays an essential role. Nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, but few organisms can convert N2 to biologically available forms. Rhizobium soil bacteria is one of the exceptions, and can enter into a symbiosis with legume plants, and provide nitrogen in exchange for carbon. This relationship is essential in agriculture, since legumes provide protein-rich pulses, beans, and peas, while the bacteria in the root minimise the amount of synthetic nitrogen required. 


In this study Sara Moeskjær aims to understand the genetic relationship between bacterial nitrogen fixation and the pasture legume, clover. Through bacterial population genomics studies and large quantitative greenhouse screening of plants and bacteria, the author characterised natural variation among soil bacteria, identified candidate genes for several leaf morphological traits, and initiated identification of genetic regions in both plants and bacteria important for clover yield.  

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday 15 August 2019 at 13.00
Place: Building 1421, Meeting Room 2, AU Conference Centre, Frederik Nielsens Vej 4, Aarhus University
Title of PhD thesis: The genetics of the Rhizobium-clover interaction
Contact information: Sara Moeskjær, e-mail: sm@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 25 86 45 35
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Phil Poole, Department of Plant Sciences, University Oxford, United Kingdom
Professor Kåre Lehmann Nielsen, Section of Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Denmark
Associate Professor Knud Larsen (chair), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Jens Stougaard, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Co-supervisor:
Associate professor Stig U. Andersen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defense