Arijit Mukherjee Ph.D.
Name: Arijit Mukherjee
Title: Assistant Professor
Education: Ph.D. (Genetics), Dec-2007, Clemson University, SC, USA
Address: 122 Lewis Science Center, Department of Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR 72035
Phone Number (indicate office or lab): 501-450-5472 (office)
Campus/Department Affiliation: UCA, Department of Biology
Availability of water and plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus is the major limitation for plant growth in most natural and agronomic ecosystems. This has led to an increasing dependence on nitrogen and phosphate based fertilizers. Besides the high cost of such fertilizers, health and ecological hazards are also associated with fertilizer treatments. Therefore, it is imperative to find alternatives to fertilizers for sustainable agriculture, for producing renewable biofuels and for minimizing health and ecological hazards. One option is to take advantage of existing beneficial plant-microbe interactions.
The most economically and ecologically relevant are interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, rhizobia. In both these interactions, the plant benefits with improved nutrition (nitrogen in legume nodulation and phosphorus in mycorrhizal symbiosis) in return for carbohydrates to the microbes. While legume nodulation is restricted to plants from the legume family, mycorrhizal symbiosis is prevalent among more than 85% of land plants including cereals (maize, rice etc.). My goal is to better understand the microbial signals and signaling pathways governing the development of beneficial plant-microbe interactions (arbuscular mycorrhization and root nodule symbiosis) using different model systems and determine how these symbioses are regulated by stresses.