Mycorrhizal fungi considerably improve nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition of the host plant. Therefore, it is conceivable that utilizing these natural symbioses will reduce the amount of fertilizers in future agricultural and agroforestry practices. However, the mycorrhizal contribution to the improvement of plant potassium nutrition, which is one of the major components of commonly used chemical fertilizers, is still understudied and therefore poorly understood. During my Ph.D. and postdoctoral work, I have demonstrated that mycorrhizal fungi significantly enhance the potassium acquisition of plants growing under limited nutrient conditions and I started to identify underlying molecular mechanisms.
I completed my Ph.D. in Integrative Plant Biology under the supervision of Dr. Sabine Zimmermann at Montpellier II University in France (Sentenac Lab). My Ph.D. project was focused on potassium and phosphate transport in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis between the fungus Hebeloma cylindrosporum and the maritime pine.
In order to enlarge my skills in plant-microbe interactions, I worked in Pr. Jean-Michel Ané’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ané lab). I was involved in an exciting project aiming to engineer effective N2-fixing symbioses between various crop species and N2-fixing bacteria (http://synthsym.org/).
Currently, I am an USDA postdoctoral fellow working on tripartite interactions in Pr. Heike Bücking’s laboratory at South Dakota State University (Bücking lab).
In parallel, I pursue my work on nutrient exchanges during mycorrhizal symbioses, and specifically develop my own projects on the role of ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses in plant nutrition and development.