We investigate the molecular genetics and mechanisms of rhizobial infection of legume roots through intercellular and intracellular infection modes. The main focus is on the genetics of intercellular infection in Lotus japonicus by the IRBG74rhizobial strain and we aim to uncover both the plant and bacterial genes involved as well as the biochemical processor that controls this hitherto unexplored entry mechanism. Lotus japonicus supports either intercellular entry via infection thread or intercellular entry between epidermal cells dependent on the rhizobia encountered. This allows comparative investigations of these two infection modes in simple binary interactions with the same plant host. Given the exceptional ability of different rhizobia for intercellular endophytic colonization of non-legume roots this provides an opportunity to identify mechanisms by which plants selectively enable a subset of bacteria to infect roots as endophytes.
Jens' group receives funding from a European Research Council Advanced Grant and an Innovation Fund Denmark Grand Solutions grant as well as larger consortia (InRoot and ENSA).
Here you can find the group’s publications and pre-prints
If you are interested in our work or would like to join the group, please contact Jens Stougaard (firstname.lastname@example.org).