Dr Brett Ferguson
The University of Queensland
Brett investigates the signals, and signaling interactions, required for “legume nodulation” at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research. For “legume”, think flowering plant, andpea, bean or pulse families. Nodulation is a mutually beneficial interaction between legumes and specific soil microbes that acquire atmospheric nitrogen to provide to the plant. Nitrogen fertiliser is costly and can cause unwanted environmental impacts. Legume nodulation provides the plant with “free” nitrogen, thus avoiding such problems. Brett’s research therefore has the potential to help reduce monetary and environmental costs, whilst improving plant growth and yields.