Establishing and Maintaining AMF-Plant Relationships in Agriculture

  • Date: Friday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 3:30-4:45 p.m.
  • Speakers: Tracey Somera, USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit; Chris Cook, USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit
  • Location: Bldg. 202, Room 4
  • Track: Track D

This talk will focus on the benefits of and barriers to the use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in agricultural settings. This will include considerations for the use of commercially available AMF products as well as for promoting the health of native AMF communities. We will also look at recent findings from studies specifically designed to investigate AMF colonization in apple rootstocks.

About the Speakers

  • Tracey Somera

    USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit

    Tracey Somera obtained her BS degree in Marine Science at Florida Institute of Technology. During her PhD, she studied the role that microbes play in the health of coral reef ecosystems. From there, her interests transitioned to the terrestrial biome and she completed a postdoc in apple research under Dr. Mark Mazzola. Tracey is now an Interdisciplinary Research Plant Pathologist/Microbiologist at the ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit in Wenatchee, WA. Research in her lab is largely geared toward engineering soil and plant-associated microbiomes to directly benefit fruit tree production systems.

  • Chris Cook

    USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit

    Chris Cook obtained his Bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. During his PhD at NIAB East Malling and Cranfield University, UK, he studied the use of beneficial soil microbes as a management strategy for apple replant disease. Chris is currently a postdoc at the ARS Tree Fruit Research Unit in Wenatchee, WA under Dr. Tracey Somera.